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Parent Craft Services

Parentcraft Services is a free-standing Unit, forming part of the Obstetric Department and situated at Mater Dei Hospital.
Although hospital-based, Parentcraft Services is clearly very much oriented towards Primary Health Care, although it is also a bridge to hospital care should a client present with any complaint or health problem. Close liaison is continuously maintained with hospital practices and policies, to ensure that accurate and updated information is passed on to our clients.

Location

Parentcraft Depatment is located at the Outpatients Block (Block E), Level 1.

Contacts

Tel: 2545 5123, 2545 5124 and 2545 5127
Helpline: 2545 5124
email: parentcraft@gov.mt

The Mission of Parentcraft Services is "Education and Support". Therefore, every effort is made to keep up to date, and to present the latest knowledge and research to the clients, whose feedback has always been very favourable.

Education is mainly carried out through courses offered to expectant clients/couples, but also to new parents, as Baby Groups (aka Reunions).  The latter serve both as a social and an educational tool, as many queries are answered and information straightened out during these meetings.  Sessions about Childcare Centres are also offered postnatally, as is dental support and information regarding nutrition.
In late 2011, were also introduced the sessions for Grandparents, which are in great demand, and ever-increasing in popularity. Furthermore, a number of ad hoc sessions are also offered, while Education also includes sessions for student nurses/ student midwives, secondary, post-secondary, and even tertiary students.
Parentcraft Courses include: Early Pregnancy Courses and Childbirth Courses (usually starting from 28 – 30 weeks pregnancy).  Specific  Childbirth Courses cater for Clients expecting multiples, Parents with other children (Refresher), English Speaking Clients.  Sessions are also now being offered to Pre-adoptive parents, while sessions for "Fathers Only" are in the offing
Parentcraft Services works closely with GHOZZA (formerly School Girl Mothers’ Unit) to offer pertinent information to School-age and Teenage clients, regarding pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing. Parentcraft Services is further reaching out to these young mothers-to-be by offering a complete childbirth course on Sundays, where the partner, and both sets of grandparents can also attend. This, in order to provide more Understanding, Support,  and Attachment.
Childbirth Courses are offered in the morning, afternoon and evening.  This includes weekdays, Saturdays, Sundays and even Public Holidays.  Most times, 2 or more concurrent sessions are held. As can be expected, the most popular lectures are those held in the evenings, weekends, and on Sunday mornings, with the latter having  4 or even 5 concurrent sessions.
Furthermore, there has been a considerable increase in one-to-one sessions.  These include clients with special needs, including physical, psychological or social needs.
Other sessions are also held regularly, in response to client-demand, and to the perceived client-need, and in liaison with other Units/Departments. These include sessions about Dental Care, Standards of Childcare Centres, Stem Cell Collection, Speech and Language Development, Healthy Eating Habits in Infants/Toddlers, etc
Other information is offered, through various professional handouts and booklets, sometimes in collaboration with other Departments, such as Department of Social Welfare Standards (DSWS), Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Unit, Commissioner of Children, Occupational Health and Safety Authority, Department for Industrial and Employment Relations  etc.
Furthermore, Parentcraft Services is further deeply involved in public and professional education through active participation and organization of various Conferences. 
Furthermore, a successful project is the “Mother and Child module” being presently offered to MCAST Students, undergoing the BTEC Diploma in Health and Social Care
Various talks are also being held with the Education Department, mainly the Heads of Schools, and with the iLearn Centre, in Parentcraft’s quest to eliminate contradictory advice, and to provide pre-conceptual education. Further talks are being held with other Departments and Organisations, further optimizing the already sterling service being provided to the Maltese Public.
Parentcraft Services is also working with various NGOs regarding asylum seekers, mainly KOPIN, INTEGRA, JRS and AWAS. An initial seminar was organized whereby information was clarified to managers and staff of the obstetric units.  Presently, KOPIN has been approved funds for a project regarding Sexual and Reproductive health under the Julia Taft Fund which is managed by the US State department. Parentcraft Services will be actively involved in this project.
Besides lectures at MDH, Parentcraft Education is also offered extensively through the Media, by participating in various TV and radio programmes. Parentcraft Services will also be having its own programme “Familji ta’ Ghada” on Radju Malta 2, every Tuesday at 11.30am, repeated on Saturdays at 9.30am   https://www.facebook.com/familjitaghada
The latest innovative project of Parentcraft Services is the creation of DVD modules, in Maltese, on a wide variety of subjects.  This visual material is also available online  https://vimeo.com/channels/parentcraft  
Support is mainly maintained through a very popular Support Tel. Helpline - 2545 5124, where clients can call in, to ask help for any problem, both during pregnancy or after birth. The telephone helpline is open to all, including those who have never attended, relatives, and anyone wishing to make use of this service.  Calls vary from brief ones enquiring about the courses or about their applications, to complicated and intense ones, sometimes requiring referral to other Departments/Units.
In addition, there has also been a significant increase in one-to-one counselling sessions, presenting mostly with pregnancy-related, emotional, or social issues. If need be, referral will be done to other Units/Departments, such as Department of Social Welfare Standards (DSWS), Social Work Unit, Ghozza, Richmond Foundation, Institute of Family Therapy (IFT), etc.
Parent Craft Services works in close liaison with various Services and Departments, including:  
             GHOZZA (Education Department – formerly called School Girl Mothers Unit),
             Commissioner for Children
             SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) and the Bereavement Midwife;
             ABC (Association of Breastfeeding Counsellors) and Breastfeeding Walk-In Clinic;
             Ministry for the Family and Social Security,
             Department of Social Welfare Standards (DSWS).
             Il-Benniena and Homestart - Social Services;
             SEDQA,
             Beyond Borders, Agenzija TAMA  -  Adoption
             KOPIN, AWAS, KRS and other NGOS working with asylum seekers.
             Richmond Foundation, Crisis Resolution Malta, Crisis Intervention Unit – psychological problems,
             Institute of Family Therapy (IFT) – relationship difficulties,
             Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Unit,
             Occupational Health and Safety Authority
             Department for Industrial and Employment Relations
             Midwives Association, Faculty of Health,
             Malta College of Family Doctors,
             Education Department, Institute for Further Studies, MCAST, etc 
Parentcraft Services is also deeply involved in various working groups and steering committees, in order to discuss, to propose, and to actively participate in various National Strategies or Policies, such as the Breastfeeding Policy, Food and Nutrition Policy and Action Plan, National Literacy Strategy, Positive Parenting Policy, Sexual Health Strategy, etc
Involvement also includes participation in the focus group recently set up by the MUMN regarding Perinatal Mental Health.
Parentcraft Services is a dynamic service, ever-changing with the needs of its clients.    Besides being very Customer Friendly, Parentcraft Services aims towards the “Positive Parenting Policy”, offering a family-friendly environment where clients feel safe to visit over and over again, and to share their worries and joys with the midwives they have learnt to trust.