Adam Ingram Childrens Service’s Minister

Group photo
Group photo

On the 19th November Adam Ingram visited East Lothian to see for himself the work of Support from the Start. This vist was part of a series of ministerial visits to Equaly Well test sites that are part of the reconvening of the Ministerial taskforce on health inequalities which published the Equally Well strategy.

The programme was tight for the hours visit and began with the minister being welcomed by the senior champions for the test site including Dr Sue Ross, Director of Community Services on her penultimate day with East Lothan Council before leaving for new opportunities.

The first stop involved the minister meeting staff and children from Whitecraig primary who had been involved in a forest school programme. The fast tracking of Forest school in the test site area is one of the redesign initiatives sponsored by the test site. He then met staff involved in initiating the redesign of early years play services in the community of Whitecraig in response to the output from a civic conversation in the community that demonstrated a community demand for more play opportunities.

The minister then had short conversations with some of the twenty eight service champions who provide leadership for learning about how services can tackle health inequality within the test site.

Carol Golightly – Oral Health Promoter described the redesign of oral health services in Wallyford and Whitecraig initiated by a review of the service pathway which supported the outcome of reducing dental caries by P1

Helen Duncan, Cultural Coordinator – spoke of the use of art and culture to engage people in health issues within the test site

Pauline Homer, Early Years Development officer – spoke to the minister about wraparound care and the redevelopment of breakfast provision

Fiona Herriot  Children 1st described the work she has beien doing with Homestart a community champion for Support from the start in ‘Making connections’ between services involved in the early years

Ann Hume Early Years manager spoke to the minister about the links between the test site and the early years framework in East Lothian

Anne Rooney & Rebecca Haack both from Midlothian council spoke of the plans to extend the test site into Midlothian communities

Finally there was an opportunity for ten minutes of questions and group discussion before the Minister left. Hopefully, he didnt find the programme too gruelling and got a flavour of what we are trying to achieve and how we are going about it.


Attachment Theory

 Chris Jeffery who is a local health visitor gave a workshop at the Learning, Emotions and Well Being in-service session on the 26th October on attachment theory.

Head teachers who attended the presentation given by Harry Burns at the launch of Support from the Start on the 16th march 2009 had specifically mentioned that they thought that  training of teaching staff in attachment theory would be useful. I have to admit I was suprised that this was not something covered in a teachers basic training. The response of teachers at all levels both to the presentation from Harry Burns and and workshops like that given by Chris makes me think that this is something that should be included in the basic training of teachers primary and secondary. How can exisiting staff get access to training on attachment theory and what it means for child development – can / should  it be delivered on a multi agency basis where staaf can excahnge ideas about supporting children who have not for whatever reason developed attachment to a significant adult.

Chris is a Registered Nurse with a BSc in Community Health Nursing and a Diploma in Child Protection who has been working as a Health Visitor in East Lothian for almost 9 years. In this workshop she gave an overview of Attachment Theory and then in small groups, discussed what this means to participants in their areas of work. Her workshop did not involve a powerpoint presentation but she has kindly agreed for her notes for the workshop to be posted here  attachment-theory-notes

Homestart & the ‘civic conversation’.


Homestart manager Linden Ross is one of the six community champions for Support from the Start. She is organising a series of informal networking and information exchanges as part of the civic conversation. This is the information for the next session which is on housing

 We’d like to welcome you to a networking opportunity to exchange information about issues and processes about Housing.

Those of us who work within agencies supporting parents of pre-school children, would benefit greatly from this ‘conversation’, in order to be better informed about current challenges within Housing.

We hope you’ll take this opportunity to meet various agencies, including Housing,

at the Early Years Centre, Sanderson’s Wynd, Tranent,

on Monday 16th November 2009 at 12pm-2pm

with sandwiches and refreshments provided!