Parent Support Advisor

An invitation to Lunch at the Library and more library news for August
Hello from Plymouth Libraries
Staff reads 0f 2021
Favourite staff reads of 2021
We asked our lovely library staff "what have been your favourite reads of this year?" And what a wide selection of books we have been reading! These titles are available to borrow from Plymouth Libraries in paper copy, eBook and/or eAudiobook format. Take a look at our blog post to see what titles we have loved reading this year. 

Shed No Tears
Book of the month
This month we've selected Shed No Tears by Caz Frear as our book of the month. "The brilliant new thriller from the author of the Richard & Judy search for a bestseller competition winner and number one bestseller, Sweet Little Lies." This title is available to borrow from Plymouth Libraries as a physical book, eAudiobook or eBook

BorrowBox languages
Learn a new language with BorrowBox
Want to learn a new language?

We have recently added a selection of eAudiobooks to BorrowBox to help you learn Mandarin, German, Spanish, Japanese and more.

Visit our website to find out about getting started with eAudiobooks from BorrowBox.

Find out more 

Winter Mini Challenge 2021
Be a Wild World Hero this Winter!

The Wild World Heroes are back to help with the Winter Mini Challenge!

Join the Heroes as they embark on an Arctic adventure to find out about the creatures living there and the environmental issues facing this remote area.

The Winter Mini Challenge encourages children to keep up their reading habits over the winter holidays, with a free-to-access website featuring rewards and incentives for reading and reviewing books.

Children can read at least three books between 1 December and 16 January and add them to their online profile at to unlock the special virtual badge and certificate. 

Christmas and New Year

Estover Library will close for the festive break on Friday 17 December. All other Plymouth Libraries will close on Friday 24 December and reopen on Tuesday 4 January.

You can continue reading any time of day or night with our large collection of eBooks, eAudiobooks, eComics, eMagazines and eNewspapers. Visit our website to find out more about borrowing digital titles.

Find out more

This month's Findalot is... CODEALOT

Bonus Challenge: Earn a bonus trading card by completing an hour of code or borrow four more books this month.

Findalots Library Challenge is aimed at 4 to 11 year olds, all children who sign up will receive a special Findalots library card and an activity journal. Collect stickers and trading cards along the way!

Find out more 

What's on this month

A Place2Be survey found that around half (52%) of parents of 4-11-year-olds have felt isolated during the pandemic, and almost half (48%) of parents felt they would have benefitted from advice about how to manage their children's behaviour during the pandemic.
Place2Be developed Parenting Smart to help parents and carers support their children and manage their behaviour. It’s completely free to use and access.
Developed by Place2Be's parenting experts, the site is full of tips and advice on a range of topics including transition to secondary school, meltdowns, and sleep difficulties.

We have been asked to share information from the Theatre Royal Plymouth. Services.

YC Create – Get Creative and try a Free taster session
Our YC Create group, for young people with disabilities, is back later this month. KS3 pupils from special schools around the city attend, but we still have space for more young people to get involved.

 So, we’re inviting PIAS subscribers to come along for a free taster session  this month, all they have to do is email to book. Please pass this onto your subscribers. Bursaries are available if anyone needs any financial support too.

Permanent Change Of Venue For Thursday Drifts Run To The Black Cat Surf Club. Plymstock Broadway Shopping Centre - 4.45 - 6.45

(Developing Resilience IFree Thinking Spaces)
A Fun-Packed, Supportive After School Social Group &' Resilience Rollercoaster Ride' For Young People 12-15 Years Over 10 Weeks
£4.00 pp per session


Guidance for young carers

Please find below a link to the latest guidance for young carers and young adult carers who are providing care for somebody during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Educational Psychology Services: Emotionally Based School Avoidance

Members of the Educational Psychology Service  (Plymouth City Council) have consulted with a range of professionals including colleagues in Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and schools to produce this set of documents for schools and families.  This area of work is particularly relevant for children with social, emotional and mental health needs as well as those who are anxious about returning to school following lockdown.

 Download these resources from the PIAS website:

·       Emotionally Based School Avoidance – Guidance for Parents

·       Emotionally Based School Avoidance – Guidance for Children

·       Emotionally Based School Avoidance – Guidance for Young People

Healthy Start Scheme

Please look at the link below to see if you are eligible for free voucher to purchase fruit, veg, milk and vitamins. This is a scheme for low income families and for families whose income may have been affected by the current climate. If you are a woman who is more than 10 week pregnant or have children under the age of 4 and are in receipt one of the following benefits you may be able to apply for this scheme.

Income support, Income based JSA, Income related ESA, Child Tax Credits (with a family income under £16,190) or Universal Credits (with a family income of under £408 per month). Please follow this link for full details, these voucher can be worth up to £50.00 per month,

Image result for Barnardos HYPE
Barnardos HYPE Service in Bristol and Plymouth supports young people to create change in health services, working particularly close with mental health services.

Young people have created a blog so that young people can support each other and encourage each other to stay positive.

All of the posts are created by young people aged 25 and under who used Barnardos and other support services.

The blog page is edited by young colleagues involved in HYPE.

We would be grateful if you could share the blog page widely with young people.

We want other young people to get involved creating block pages and sharing their ideas, thoughts and feelings. To get involved messages on Facebook or email us at

We have a canva account that can be shared with young people to create their entries.


PIAS Update

PIAS is able to support you during the present Covid-19 pandemic.  Our phone lines remain open and you can call us on 01752 258933.

 Please see the links below for other relevant information for parents, sibling carers and young carers.

 Please note the Health Services link below which gives information on the Child Development Centre (CDC) and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

 Health Services SEND during Covid-19

Covid 19 Children with special education needs and/or disabilities.


Covid 19 Send advice  and information for children, families and young people


Parenting dedicated phone support for families (Plymouth)


Support for sibling carers


Support in Plymouth for young carers


Connect with us on Facebook

We regularly post information, activities and events happening in the Plymouth area on our Facebook page.  Stay up to date by liking us on Facebook

Grandparents Plus (@GPlusinfo) | Twitter
We have lots of news to update you with; including a government announcement of funding for local authorities, kinship carers speaking out in the media, and changes to Grandparents Plus services to meet the demands of the coronavirus epidemic. 
Thank you for everything you are doing to support kinship carers during this very difficult time. Please know that we're here to support you as much as we can.

Grandparents Plus welcomes the Education Secretary’s announcement of £8 million in funding to support special guardianship and adoptive families during the coronavirus crisis.

The additional funding through the Adoption Support Fund means local authorities and regional adoption agencies will be able to buy services from voluntary sector providers, such as telephone support for special guardians and virtual peer to peer support. The government expects local authorities and regional adoption agencies to ensure that any funding sought includes services to eligible special guardian families.

 Find out more about how your local authority can commission our Kinship Connected service, offering tailored, local support from project workers experienced in kinship care.


Changing Grandparents Plus services to meet the demands of the coronavirus epidemic

Kinship carers are feeling particularly worried and isolated during the lockdown. We have been working hard to adapt our work with local authorities to deliver targeted and specialist one-to-one support for kinship families within the restrictions of the current epidemic.

Our project workers are providing one-to-one support and peer support by telephone or using Whatsapp, Zoom or Skype. We have also provided guides on using these technologies can be found in our COVID-19 user resources.

We have invested in additional capacity for our free specialist advice service via phone, email or web form, including new evening sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays and more frequent live Facebook advice surgeries. We have also increased investment in additional capacity to apply for grants for essential items.

We are also connecting carers with foodbanks and volunteering networks.

We are sending out weekly e-news to all members of our Kinship Community of 7,000, which is free for them to join here.

We are now working on scaling up our Someone Like Me peer-to-peer telephone support service, which we will update you on soon


Details of the next professionals meeting

The next professionals group meeting will be on 21 April from 2.30 – 4.30. We currently have capacity via Zoom for 20 social workers to join us, if more people want to take part we can plan additional sessions or have another look at meeting options.

This meeting will focus on the impact of coronavirus on kinship care families.

Prior to the meeting, please think about which topics you would like to discuss (eg, keeping carers safe, contact, finance, supporting children) and we’d be grateful if you could share any relevant resources your team has developed. We will gather these thoughts and resources prior to the meeting when you sign up using the booking email below.

Meeting agenda:

  • Update on kinship carer’s concerns – including Grandparents Plus kinship carer consultations, advice service and programmes insight; feedback from local authorities
  • Update on the Adoption Support Fund and policy and practice guidance – an opportunity to share issues or concerns from a practice perspective
  • Discussion on key issues and resources to share
  • Frequency and format of future meetings.

Please book your place by emailing your name, title, team and local authority name to


 Advice for kinship carers who have children’s services involvement during the coronavirus outbreak

We are doing our utmost to keep kinship carers informed with all the latest developments in relation to the coronavirus. The government has issued new guidance on children’s social care which is relevant for kinship carers whose children have a social worker. This includes kinship foster carers, some special guardians, and children on child protection plans or child in need plans.

 Read the advice


Talking to children about kinship care

We know that becoming a kinship carer rarely happens without a range of emotions coming into play. Every family and every child is unique. In order to tackle these issues we have created new content on the website dedicated to this topic. It contains a wonderful selection of tips through peer learning from kinship carers and also useful links and advice.
 "Unexpected call from daughter changed my life and I had to give up everything"

Grandfather Graham Leach, 63, was told his daughter’s children would be taken away so he stepped in to raise the boys himself rather than seeing them in care.

This is an emotional and powerful story, which tells of the hardships and joys of being a kinship carer.

“If we come down with it, who is going to step in? What would become of the children? We’ve got nobody that we can call on.”

Wendy highlights the concerns shared by many of us during these challenging times. She speaks at length to an influential news site about her experiences. Also our CEO Lucy sets out what the government needs to do in this time to better support kinship carers.

Useful links
 For more details about the Kinship Connected support service for special guardians, please visit our website.

 If anyone feels they would like to access this service please contact Jo Penk via email:

The Plympton Hub - Plymouth Online Directory
Are you a parent or carer who has a child or teenager who is experiencing anxiety? Would it be helpful to you to have an opportunity to share concerns and talk about your child or teenager, and the issues and problems.  We can also think together about strategies you are using to enable you to feel more confident and supported. The Hub are currently offering one hour 1:1 sessions from 10am - 11am on Tuesday mornings during term time this January and February, with an optional follow up appointment.  We currently have dates available.  For further information or to book a session please email

 Did you know that adults earning less than the national living wage who live in Plymouth will continue to benefit from fully funded training this year? It's true! Adults who earn £15,736 or less could qualify for subsidised or even free training.
Want to find out if you qualify?

Simply give us a call on 01752 660713 or pop in to our training centre on Mutley Plain.