No place like home asks the world 'why make a family homeless?' Of course, we have a natural yearning as a family unit to stay together. Savethefamily are the largest Homeless Family charity in the UK. They keep homeless families together and work to address each individual  compounded problem, in a practical, needs-led, holistic way. On Monday the 6th of April Savethefamily showed the world the human cost of the recession. In hosting Sky News they opened our eyes to the part everybody would like to forget. They remind us that local and national government deal with individuals - there is no family approach that deals with things holistically.

Watch chief Executive Tim Mc Lauchlan talking on Sky News in Wales:


"Families don't fit into boxes. We meet these families where they are - we go towards them and we lift them from where they are without judging them"

This social enterprise are evidently thinking differently in seeing the bigger picture and addressing needs that get ignored elsewhere, helping families re-settle back into the community to contribute socially and economically.

Storybook Dads

Storybook Dads is an award winning service that aims to keep imprisoned parents and their children together. [youtube=]

The video is a little long, but it highlights the importance of the prisoners developing literacy and computer software skills. Storybook Dads also offers storytelling workshops, giving the prisoners the chance to write their child a story.

"Imprisoned fathers have a tendency to withdraw from the outside world, many losing contact with their children completely. A high percentage of prisoners come from a socially excluded background with over 25% having been in care as a child. Our research shows that a high percentage were never read to as a child and have never read to their own children. Literacy levels tend to be well below average with over half of prisoners having no qualifications and many having been excluded from school."

One of the main aims of the service is to stop the cycle of offence from repeating itself and being passed on from parent to child. The charity also works with parents in the armed forces,  who work away from their children.

Talking family

This article from the NewYork Times is written by a mother who is hurt her children won't friend her on facebook. The author receives mixed feedback, I was really surprised by the number of parents who have joined facebook purely to keep tabs on their kids. I can't help thinking this is another example of technology eating away at our relationships and fundamental social skills. Surely if you have a good relationship with your children and frequent conversations...facebook should be the least of parents worry?

The comments got me thinking about family life: a core aspect of life which is being explored at Participle. I often think about how tough it must be to be a parent and a friend at the same time. Trust is developed over years and a cherished part of any relationship...parents shouldn't be spying on thier kids online?!

However, my thoughts trail to the positive when I discover a reader is friends with his 87 year old grandfather on facebook...

Another interesting one "Not on Call", the author, Lisa Belkin, discussing one of the many disconcerting parts of raising a teen, is that your home phone doesn’t ring. In my teens, the phone ringing and mum getting to chat to the caller for the four seconds it took me to fly downstairs was important. It was an insight into my social circle.

Boys in their twenty-somethings are the last generation who will have to call a house phone to talk to a girl, coping with the fear that her dad may answer...when my dad was younger the phone box across from their house rang and the 'picker-upper' chapped their front door. Back then, everyone in the street could monitor your social life.

With all this in mind I am alarmed at the autors revelation:

"My children talk with their fingers."

A great blog overall!