Connecting and educating parents
A Southland-specific app has been designed to help young and new parents find services in their neighbourhood.
The app, called Baby&You, created by Family Works Presbyterian Support Southland, works as a database and phone book, helping parents access information and locate services close to home.
Family Works director Judith McInerney said the app was the first of its kind.
‘‘Before this app there was no one place Southlanders could go to get local information.’’
Becoming a parent or being pregnant could be daunting, particularly for younger people, she said.
‘‘They have a lot of questions, but they don’t ask them because they don’t want to look like they are dumb.’’
The app put all the information they would need in the palm of their hand, with parents able to look up sensitive information like C-sections without feeling embarrassed.
All the websites listed on the app were legitimate and approved by the Ministry of Health.
It was often hard for young and new parents to navigate accurate and trustworthy information from online, she said.
‘‘It is hard for young and new parents to know what is the right information.
‘‘This app is a safe and easy way for parents to keep informed.’’
Family Works manager Dawn Lloyd said the app had been in the pipeline for more than two years.
They had collaborated with Southland-based businesses and organisations and held focus groups with parents before finalising a design.
The app had 14 categories people could search under, including emergency, pregnancy and childbirth, dads, housing and transport.
‘‘There is more than just information about becoming a parent. There is also information about employment opportunities and links to helplines.’’
The app was conceptualised and came to fruition because of Southland ingenuity, Lloyd said.
Family Works in other regions had already inquired into the app, hoping to adapt it for their area. ’’It is a credit to everyone involved.’’
Baby&You is available free for any Android iOS devices and can be found on app stores.
Family Works director Judith McInerney, marketing and communications manager Shelley Erskine and manager Dawn Lloyd look at the app Baby&You.