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Family Life Ministry - Diocese of Leeds
Parenting Facilitator Training 30 / 03 / 2017

Initial Training is the Family Caring Trust's one day introduction to it's parenting courses, to the skills needed to facilitate the courses and to the key national occupation standards for working with parents that facilitators need to work to. Initial Training can also be delivered in several shorter sessions and this is the most effective approach for parish and school teams that want to support parents locally.

Family Caring Trust (FCT) courses (see www.familycaring.co.uk) are the best parenting materials we have found for working in a Catholic context: A key principle of the courses that honours our Catholic tecahing on parents and family life is that the parent is to be respected and equipped as the first educator of their child(ren). The courses, and those leading the courses, do not give advice or tell parents what to do. Rather they offer parents a comfortable space and some really good material to work with to learn about what behaviours might mean and to teach respectful communication in families.

Even in families, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ before we are anything else: mother, father, wife, husband, children, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew. The FCT courses help parents to make the choices they want to make, week by week, as in a small group sharing with other parents they practice and gain the skills they want.

As one mum said children 'don't come with a book' yet raising a new human being is a profound and important thing that parents do, yet we do it often with little or no experience. Parents are, by virtue of their baptism, priests, prophets and kings in their families (this is why the family is sometimes known as the 'domestic church').

In the Diocese of Leeds we are committed to doing all that we can to help parents in their vocation to raise children in love and in faith. FCT courses are a useful 'self-help' tool that contribute to equipping parents for their role. They help them to become more confident and to follow through each week in whatever way they want to effect change in how their families interacts with (communicates with) one another.

All the skills we look at in FCt courses are completely transferreable: they can make a differnce to our interactions with other adults, whether in an intimate,  personal, professional or just transactional context.

Initial Training prepares teams of parents and other volunteers to set up and deliver Family Caring Trust (FCT) parenting courses (www.familycaring.co.uk) in their own home/school/parish communities.

Training dates AUTUMN 2017:

Wednesday 13th September BRADFORD (COMPLETED) 

Thursday 19th October LEEDS (CANCELLED)

Wednesday 8th November NOSTELL PRIORY (Course FULL)

To find out more or book your places contact Breda at breda.theakston@dioceseofleeds.org.uk or 07761715101


"The love of parents is so important for a child's personal development and growth. It is the gift that makes society possible. Parents surely deserve the best we can offer to help them develop their skills and grow in confidence"

Archbishop Peter Smith, Southwark

The parenting courses: FCT courses are easy to use, ready-made, very good value for money resources that are written by parents for parents. Based on DVD input and handbooks for parents the courses offer opportunities for parents (and grandparents) to gather each week in small groups to consider some of the perennial parenting themes we all worry about at some stage in our lives as parents. The courses aim to help parents practice respectful communications and so grow the healthy loving relationships we all want in our family lives. Parents are affirmed and supported in their responsibility for passing on the virtues and in their inalienable responsibility for preparing children emotionally and spiritually for adult life and vocation. FCT courses offer one very enjoyable way to support parents in our vocation as the primary educators of our children and to bring out the best in ourselves and in our children.

Initial Training: No experience necessary, no minimum educational qualifications necessary. English language proficiency required (and multi lingual is advantage especially if working in a multi lingual home-school-parish environment). Anyone in your school and parish who is able and willing to arrange and host a weekly 2-hour session for parents (rather like a social group or coffee morning) and to act as a facilitator (no teaching involved!) to group learning would be ideal. Parents, parishioners, school governors, school support staff and social workers have all benefitted from this Initial Training.

Who is this for?

Ideally this training is for small teams of ordinary lay people (parents, catechists, school governors) sponsoored by a supportive head teacher, parish priest or line manager.

Once they have completed the training (whether in one full day or over several smaller sessions) they will be equipped to run one of the Family Caring Trust's excellent family relationship programmes through your school or parish or community group. 

To arrange to have a small team of people (minimum 2 but more is better up to a maximum of 6) attend the FCT Initial Training contact Breda Theakston, Diocesan Parenting Coordinator at Breda.theakston@dioceseofleeds.org.uk.

Training requires a minimum of 6 hours attendance and is best delivered in short (2 hour) sessions over 6 weeks to get the maximum benefit. Watch out for one-day training opportunities at Hinsley Hall or contact Breda to get in-house training for your home-school-parish community.

Initial Training is completed when a parenting course has been run by participants and they have had one satisfactory session observed by an Approved Facilitator Trainer (www.familycaring.co.uk)


Application Form

1) Diocesan Application Form 

Diocesan Parenting Project 2015-2017 Information Leaflet 

See what participants say about FCT parenting courses: 'What Can a Parent Do?' Preview


"We've recently seen, from a number of diocesan projects across England and Wales, that the immediate and the long-term benefits for parents, their children and for the church can be quite extraordinary."

Archbishop Peter Smith, Southwark




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