Con­nect­ing and ed­u­cat­ing par­ents

The Invercargill Eye - - FRONT PAGE - JOANNA GRIF­FITHS

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.

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