Visit Merseyside Youth AssociationMYA

Merseyside Youth Association

"She thinks everything's fine, but I'm worried I'm not going to get these grades."

"We just want our buys to be accepted, and to be able to cope with life's challenges." Mum

About the programme

Youth Connect 5 is a course that gives parents and carers across Cheshire and Merseyside the knowledge, skills and understanding to help their children develop strong emotional wellbeing through resilience-building techniques.

Responding to the vision of “Future in Mind” (FIM) report, a report that contains recommendations from a group of agencies and organisations jointly chaired by NHS England and the Department of Health, whilst supporting Local Transformation Plans and emotional health and wellbeing strategies, Youth Connect 5 uses a prevention approach by up-skilling families and carers.

The course was originally written by Elysabeth Williams from Public Health and psychologist Dr Martin Powell, and developed by Merseyside Youth Association to help parents and caregivers to support their children’s mental health, wellbeing and resilience.

Course aims

The course delivers five sessions that aims to:

  • Give parents and carers the knowledge, empathy, skills and tools to promote resilience and wellbeing for children and young people

  • Strengthen parent's and children’s resilience

  • Increase confidence and parental ability to support their child

  • Improve parent/child relationships


The Public Health Institute (PHI) at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), undertook the evaluation of the YC5 Programme. You can read the report here.

Evaluation of the Youth Connect 5 Programme across Cheshire and Merseyside Ellie McCoy, Karina Kinsella, Selina Wallis, Rebecca Harrison & Hannah Timpson can be read here.


How does the programme work?

Parents and carers play a pivotal role in promoting the knowledge, skills and environment that can help children cope with adversity. Supporting families has a dual role of strengthening parents’ and children’s resilience. Whole school approaches to building resilience that works with both parents and staff have increased staff confidence, parental ability to support their child and improved parent/child relationships

We recognise parents as experts on their children; this course is designed to be supportive and build on the knowledge, skills and expertise that some parents and carers already possess.

Youth Connect 5 involves the delivery of a ‘train the trainers’ programme’ across the nine local authorities. Staff receiving this training will then subsequently deliver this training to parents and carers.

Commitments and expectations

As a member of the families workforce, you will be either selected/nominated by your employers, or you can request to attend this programme as part of your professional development.

Each attendee will be required to make a commitment to undertake the following:

  • Sourcing and training a minimum of 20 parents (2 courses of 10 parents)

  • Arrange venues for parent and carer training sessions

  • Evaluate the courses

  • Feed this evaluation information back to Youth Connect Five

Workforce benefits

As a professional trained in the delivery of Youth Connect 5, you will obtain additional knowledge and skills in mental wellbeing as well as training delivery, supporting your own CPD and the organisation’s strengths.

In addition to this, in general your own health and wellbeing may also be improved. We know that many in the workforce will also be parents/carers who themselves will experience challenging times as a parent.

Building Resilience

There is evidence that supporting families and carers, building resilience through to adulthood and supporting self-care reduces the burden of mental and physical ill health over the whole life course, reducing the cost of future interventions, improving economic growth and reducing health inequalities.

This programme encourages a wide range of professionals to be involved across universal, targeted and specialist services to:

    1. Promote good mental wellbeing and resilience by supporting children and young people and their families to adopt and maintain behaviours that support good mental health; and
    2. Prevent mental health problems from arising by taking early action with children, young people and parents who may be at greater risk.
    3. Develop a conversation – create the space for an open conversation about children and young people’s mental health. Children, young people and their parents/carers need clearer awareness of what is good mental health and what is poor mental health, as well as better information about how to keep mentally and emotionally healthy
    4. Give children and young people and their parents/carers clearer awareness of how to recognise when they might have a mental health problem as well as where and how to get help, clarity about what help is available, what might happen when they access it, and what to do while they are waiting.

Key messages for school staff

As a key target group, evidence shows that if parents/carers can be supported to better manage their children’s behaviour, alongside work being carried out with the child at school, there is a much greater likelihood of success in reducing the child’s problems and in supporting their academic and emotional development. Many support services will work to support the family as well as the child that has been referred. (Mental health and behaviour in schools, Departmental advice for school staff, Department of Education 2016)

Providing parents/carers with coping strategies and techniques to improve emotional wellbeing and resilience can help improve the relationship between parents/carers and their children and improve the child’s behaviour.

This programme will support and build on skills/techniques to strengthen family relationships and family resilience, which will support skills in listening and communicating with their children and teach an understanding of behaviour in the context of relationships.

YC5 in Transit

Based on the original YC5 course (originally written by Elysabeth Williams from Public Health and Dr Martin Powell, a psychologist), YC5 in Transit has been further developed by Merseyside Youth Association to help parents and caregivers to support their children’s mental health, wellbeing and resilience whilst specifically transitioning from primary to secondary school.

Find out about YC5 in Transit here

book a ‘train the trainers’ course

There are lots of courses throughout Merseyside and Cheshire