The Parents and Carers Focus Group is a network for parents and carers at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.
The purpose of the Parents and Carers Focus Groupis to support students and staff who are already caring for children or relatives, or who are expecting to do so in the future. The Group organises regular informal meetings, where we discuss parenting issues with each other, as well as seminars, swap shops and so on. There is also a Facebook group for related discussion.
Recently, we have held sessions on HR issues for parents and carers (see links below), training on basic life support for children (what to do if a child chokes or stops breathing), and seminars on sleep issues, fussy eaters, social media use and raising bilingual children. We also feed back to the wider EDI initiative on issues that are important to working parents. The Groups chairs (currently Jon Clayden, Nicole Hofmans and Salma Samsuddin) are happy to answer questions at any time. Below are some useful links to institute and UCL web pages which are relevant to current and to-be parents and carers.
Pregnancy and Leave
- Maternity Leave Calculator
- Parental Leave and Pay Policy
- Advice and Support for Pregnant Students
- Safety Guidelines for New and Expectant Mothers
- Frequently Asked Questions on maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave
Returning to Work and Beyond
- UCL's Work-Life Balance Policy, which includes information on part-time and flexible working
- Carers' Leave Policy, which applies when you need to take leave to look after an unwell child
- Parents and Carers Together (PACT), a UCL-wide social network
- ICH has a Rest/Expressing Room for Breastfeeding Mothers (the Cygnet Room), which is on the ground floor, along the corridor behind reception
- UCL Day Nursery
- Great Ormond Hospital Staff Nursery. Places available for UCL GOS ICH staff. Find out more about availability and prices (UCL log-in required)
- The Faculty Carers' Fund provides financial support to enable staff with dependents (of any age) to attend meetings, conferences, workshops, etc., that they might not otherwise be able to attend
- UCL BiLingo offers a number of resources for parents of bilingual and multilingual children
- The Athena SWAN Charter, supporting the careers of women in Higher Education
Maternity and Paternity Mentoring
Having children is already dizzying enough, and it can involve a lot of effort to work out what options are available to you, when it comes to leaving and returning to work. Maybe you feel that you'd like advice on striking a work-life balance that suits you. To help make these transitions smoother and clearer, maternity and paternity mentoring is available through the EDI mentoring focus group at the institute. If you are interested, please email ICH.Mentoring@ucl.ac.uk for further details.
Information of carers
UCL runs a Parents and Carers Together (PACT), which is a volunteer-led grassroots network that was established in May 2014 to raise awareness of the needs of working parents and carers.
The network directly meets the second strategic objective of the UCL 2020 Strategy: to 'improve the consistency of experience and support of staff and students around pregnancy, maternity, paternity, childcare and caring responsibilities.'
Issues commonly facing parents and carers include:
- part-time working
- flexible working
- techniques and strategies for communicating with colleagues and/or managers
- dealing with discrimination and stereotypes
- managing expectations of other staff
- challenging inappropriate comments
- emerging technology and its impact
- establishing work-life balance.
For more information see UCL PACT
GOS ICH Core Hours
Core hours are 10am–4pm. This means that all regular meetings concerning research or governance, including committee, staff, research group meetings and departmental seminars should be held between 10am and 4pm. This should help those with caring responsibilities to attend. Meetings can be held outside these times if they are one-off or termly events, but only if there is plenty of notice so that colleagues can make necessary arrangements. These meetings should have minutes if relevant so that those who cannot attend can remain informed.