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New Parent Zone project will develop a ‘digital family support worker’

Parent Zone has been selected by BBC Children in Need to create a new digital service that will help families learn from each other and improve their wellbeing.

One in four people will experience poor mental health and half of all mental health problems start before the age of 14. Parent Zone is using a three-year funding award from Children in Need’s A Million & Me programme to create a new digital service that can be used by children or parents to explore their concerns, reflect on how they are feeling and structure their thoughts so that they can share them with others.

A Million & Me is an early action programme from BBC Children in Need. The programme aims to support children aged 8-13 across the UK through what can sometimes be a tricky transition phase in their lives. Projects funded by the programme will work to address emotional wellbeing among children who are beginning to struggle, before mental health problems are established. Find out more about A Million & Me.

Using 'chat-like' prompts and questions, Parent Zone’s new digital service will give children and adults tailored information and practical action plans to help them to communicate and look after their mental wellbeing.

Vicki Shotbolt, Founder and CEO of Parent Zone, said:

“We are delighted to be able to support more parents, carers and children thanks to the support of BBC Children in Need’s A Million & Me programme.

Family support workers are highly skilled, experienced professionals but the majority of families can’t get their help. We’re exploring how to make some of what they do more available and accessible to all. It will be a challenge but with the help of BBC Children in Need and others we can make a change.”

Parent Zone is currently working with children, families and experts to develop the new service and is looking forward to sharing more information in the near future.