Our Association is founded on the following values and principles
- Every child and every family should be valued for their individuality as diversity brings strength to us all.
- Inclusion and participation of every individual in our community is a right that should be supported and nurtured.
- Parents play the key role in supporting their young child’s development.
- Families have the right to make informed choices and decisions for themselves about things that are important to them now and in the future, whilst remaining the child’s first ally.
- All children have the right to enjoy the widest range of play experiences, as these are the foundation of learning and development.
- Early childhood is the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives: it is not just a preparation for the next stage – it is vitally important in itself.
- Everyday contacts, relationships and activities are fundamental in nurturing development, quality of life and experience.
- Services for families are most useful when they support everyday living and are delivered within the child’s natural environment.
- All children are able to learn. Building on abilities and strengths, rather than focusing on difficulties, best supports their progress.
Our Association aims
- to work with families to help them develop a quality of life and experience for themselves and their young children in which they can learn together, play together, participate and be included in their community in their own right;
- to play a part in minimising the disabling barriers that confront young children and their families receiving Portage services;
- to support the national and local development of inclusive services for children.
Our Association strives to fulfil these aims and to maintain our principles through the development and promotion of the Portage model of support.
For the N.P.A. this model is characterised by
- regular home visiting;
- supporting the development of play, communication, relationships, and learning for young children within the family;
- supporting the child and family’s participation and inclusion in the community in theirown right;
- working together with parents within the family, with them taking the leading role in the partnership that is established;
- helping parents to identify what is important to them and their child and plan goals for learning and participation;
- keeping a shared record of the childs progress and other issues raised by the family;
- responding flexibly to the needs of the child and family when providing support;
- Portage home visitors accessing support through regular team meetings, on behalf of the family they work with.
To develop and promote this model our Association undertakes the following specific objectives:
- offering a Code of Practice as a framework for delivering Portage services and reviewing this Code as appropriate;
- supporting quality of service by providing training with an agreed curriculum as a basic standard for Portage Home Visitors;
- listening and responding to members individual or selective concerns at local, regional and national level;
- encouraging new developments in the delivery of Portage support;
- developing a training curriculum that responds to the training needs of parents, Portage services and professionals associated with the Portage Model;
- working collaboratively with other services dedicated to supporting families and young children;
- campaigning for all families with a young child with additional support needs to have early access to Portage or other appropriate home visiting services;
- keeping members informed about Portage via a regular journal, local study days and an annual conference.