Parenting Under Pressure: Supporting Families & Supporting Their Journey

Lynne Barton of Entrust Care Partnership is one of three speakers who will be leading our session on Parenting Under Pressure.  The session is part of our conference in October which aims to explore expectations and evidence around the early days with baby.  “Growing Families: Facts, Fiction and Other Stuff” is a not-for-profit event, and you can read more about the aims and organisers here.  The conference is taking place in Manchester on Thursday 6th October – please click here to book your place or join our Facebook event to register your interest.

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I am Lynne Barton and I am the founding Director of Entrust Care Partnership.

Our not for profit organisation was set up a couple of years ago in response to parental needs and aspirations, we now provide a range of services for disabled children, young people, adults and their families.

  • We empower disabled children to have ordinary lives
  • We empower parents to have their voices heard
  • We empower professionals to have a ‘can do’ attitude to disability

There is a very well-known poem written by a parent Emily Perl Kingsley called Welcome to Holland in essence it describes the experience of raising a child with a disability as finding yourself on a plane to Holland, when you had signed up for Italy. Nothing is as expected, the language, the food, the landscape, the people, but there is nothing you can do to change the situation. Your family journey is a different one from the one you had anticipated and we are all shaped by life’s journey.

I am pleased to recognise note a positive change in practice and attitude towards the challenges faced by those with a disability however we are constantly told by families about a fight for services and how much more needs to be done.

In the 1950’s my mother gave birth to a little girl, Elaine, she had hydrocephalus, nothing could be done she stayed at the hospital until the inevitable happened, mom came home, there was no follow up and it was rarely mentioned again.

In the early 1990’s I managed the Child Development Centre in a busy acute hospital working with health professionals to assess children under five who were not developing as expected.

There I met Mathew, he was less than a year old but it was clear that he would need lifelong support to develop – he has significant learning disabilities and Autism, speech & language therapy, additional teaching & special school followed. He is now 23, he likes music, enjoys meeting friends and makes a drinkable cup of coffee.

In 2015 Florence was identified as having cerebral palsy at less than two years of age, physio therapy, splints and specialist equipment quickly followed, emotional support has been harder to find.

Matthews’s mother is Barbara, she has become my long standing friend and a supporter of Entrust Care Partnership.

Florence is my granddaughter, her mother Emma, my own daughter recently just completed a sponsored run for us and helps us raise income through her donation of toys, which we sell on at table tops sales.

Having a child with a disability often means a lifetime of care – still a fight for services.

We can all make a difference, you as an individual, parent or professional through a listening ear, a supportive word, an empathetic response and a sharing of your knowledge and skills in a non-judgemental way.  Entrust Care Partnership aspires to support families and support their journey.

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Lynne Barton
Founding Director, Entrust Care Partnership, July 2016

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