The first step: build an on-line community of interest - maternal health professionals and researchers

This post launches the Family Included Global Alliance project: the action starts now!

We will build a website, www.FamilyIncluded.com, with an associated Facebook and Twitter account. We will use this to build a community of interest among maternal health professionals and researchers across the world. We will do this in the following way:

  • The site will be very well designed so that the first impression inspires confidence. We want visitors, in an instant, to think “I don’t want to miss out on this”.
  • We will post new content on the site once a week. We will invite leading researchers and practitioners to write about their work in developing family included approaches to maternal health. This gradual flow of content is vital to the next step, and it is also much easier to deliver than launching everything at once.
  • We will systematically promote this through social media to interested groups. So, for example, there are 220,000 Facebook users in Kenya that indicate an interest in maternal health and childbirth (two thirds women, one third men) and we could show each of them a post relevant to their country.
  • We will invite people to join forums on social media for discussion.

The outcome from this project will be a body of authoritative material and a huge network of expertise that will help anyone in the world contemplating a family inclusive approach. There will also be a network of people discussing new projects and we can approach funders with confidence because we have something they need.

We already have 30 members (see next post) but we need to grow this to thousands.

Mary Steen and I have opted for this approach because it is very low cost. We can manage the whole project on a voluntary basis, so we only need to raise US$10,000 for the first year of activity – this will cover website design and paid promotions of content in social media.

We will raise this money through an appeal. We raised the first $1,500 while this post was being edited!

Other posts in this series:

And coming next:

  • Family Included Global Alliance: introducing the first 30 members from five continents
  • First success: family inclusive approach to promoting good diet in new families in UAE
  • Plan: activities long-term

 

Thanks to Christian Junker for permission to use his picture through creative commons.

Using digital communications to enhance family inclusive care

Mary Steen and I have been experimenting with the use of digital communications in maternity care in UK, working in partnership with the technology provider, Oracle. We ran a pilot project at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and are currently talking to a series of other maternity services in UK. Meanwhile, Oracle’s international team are promoting the approach worldwide.

Many digital projects in health are set up just to tell people things. Also, in maternity care, they are often set up just to tell mothers things. These approaches miss a key finding in the research: that digital communication should be social. It is about communication between people, not just broadcasting things.

Continue reading Using digital communications to enhance family inclusive care

Why is family inclusive care so rare, despite all the evidence? The barriers and challenges

A presentation in 2012 by the Centre for International Health at the Burnet Institute in Australia outlines a range of barriers against male participation in maternal and child health services. These correspond extremely closely to my experience of promoting engagement of fathers in UK maternity services, strongly confirming that many of the issues I have been tackling for the last 17 years are indeed global.

Continue reading Why is family inclusive care so rare, despite all the evidence? The barriers and challenges.

Family inclusive care: the evidence about what works

One of our foundations is evidence and so we have started by assembling some. Making the evidence easily available on-line will be one of the future activities, so that anyone anywhere in the world can access it to make the case to local stakeholders.

Continue reading Family inclusive care: the evidence about what works

Family Included Global Alliance: maternal and newborn health, working with Professor Mary Steen

I have been working for 10 years with Professor Mary Steen on engaging with fathers in maternity services in the UK. Our work was summed up in the Royal College of Midwives guidance, Reaching Out: involving fathers in maternity care.

Continue reading Family Included Global Alliance: maternal and newborn health, working with Professor Mary Steen

Family Included Global Alliance: starting a start-up

My last blog – over a year ago! – was about the approach I take to start-ups. I am just now embarking on the most ambitious start-up of my career and I am going to lay out the whole process in my blog, so that supporters and backers can see how it is going, all the ups and downs!

Continue reading Family Included Global Alliance: starting a start-up

Starting a new project, step 3: funding

Funding a start-up is my number one frustration. It is particularly difficult because in the early stages, when things are still in a formative stage, it is not clear what one needs funding for! I now have a track record in start-ups so I can demonstrate that I have the skills to lead things through the process of discovery – but this skill counts for nothing. In 20 years, I have never been asked once by a funder what my track record is in start-up.

Continue reading Starting a new project, step 3: funding

Starting a new project, step 2: going the distance alone

Tweet

For Maternity Assist, a project to bring digital communication into maternity care and engage the whole family rather than just the mother, I have run the whole course with another person, Mary Steen. And its been a long course – two years just to get the funding to develop a prototype, and . . . → Read More: Starting a new project, step 2: going the distance alone

Starting a new project, step 1: negotiating fog

Tweet

I am a social entrepreneur. I start new not-for-profit projects and organisations to meet particular needs. That is all I do – I don’t have a ‘proper job’ that keeps me going while I get new things off the ground. I don’t provide consultancy on how to do it. I don’t stay . . . → Read More: Starting a new project, step 1: negotiating fog

Rethinking family services: supporting collaboration within and among families

This paper is a response to an invitation from David Lammy MP to speak about fatherhood to the Labour review of family policy. In the paper I go beyond fatherhood to propose a new foundation for family services, based on the fundamental aim of enabling collaborative relationships between carers of children, rather than focusing just on improving the skills and employability of individual parents. I am deeply indebted to Susanna Abse, Adrienne Burgess and Jack O’Sullivan, with whom I did the thinking when preparing this paper.

Continue reading Rethinking family services: supporting collaboration within and among families