Funded by the Integrated Care Fund and part of Action for Children, The Ymbarel Service is #WorkingForCardiff by continuing to support parents with additional learning needs and have adapted their services to work with families online, helping to learn and embed essential tasks for parents to care for their children at home during this difficult time and reduce the risk of their child entering the care system.


Shirley Steffen, Service Lead, said, “Due to the lockdown we are continuing to support our current families by adapting our support service delivery, as are we all, to using digital methods to have one to one online and telephone contact with the families. We are running online and digital Gro Brain groups and Welcome to the World groups via Skype, Teams and WhatsApp. We have ordered additional resources and delivered these to our families so that they can carry on working on their goals.


Families have found this really beneficial and have continued to engage with us, and really like this new way of working. It has certainly shown us that we can work in different ways in the future and enable our staff to continue to support families through this time.”

The service has also been able to access an emergency support fund for some of the parents they work with who have struggled with access to food and essential services.


The feedback from families has been positive, such as, “We look forward to our daily chats, it’s nice to have you to help us and to know that someone cares about us and is interested in how we and our children are doing.” One of parents, who has existing mental health issues, sadly had a relative pass away during the lockdown period. The service has been supporting with contact throughout. She said, “Without the WhatsApp calls I don’t know what I would have done, especially with my Nan passing with the virus.”


One of the social workers involved said, “Communication from the team has been excellent during this time of lockdown. They offered a non-judgemental approach with lots of practical support that will support this young mother to learn the parenting skills required to care for her child.”


If you would like to know more about the service, contact:


Thanks to everyone involved for doing an amazing job.


Photographed: Julie Denton


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