My blog leads me to talk to the most interesting people in my community. This was the case when I interviewed Heidi Livingston, co-founder of FamilyBoost.
FamilyBoost is a Finnish company that aims to deliver the latest knowledge in child development to parents in an open and accessible way. Heidi and her business partner Julia Pöyhönen met as psychology students in Helsinki and, after working for few years in family counselling, they went on to start FamilyBoost in 2016. “The biggest motivation was to create a service that’s very easily accessible.”, Heidi shares, “Parents today are more ready to seek help than parents before. Even if the family doesn’t have massive issues they may still seek for help, which is great of course”. Internet may assist, but it’s not enough. Besides, Heidi tells me her general feeling about online articles is that they tend to blame parents and may have a negative effect.
FamilyBoost introduces self-paced online courses focused on specific themes. Courses generally last four to eight weeks, with an average commitment of 2 hours a week. The current offer includes “Toddler boost”, “Teen boost”, a course to encourage parents’ self-care, one to cultivate attachment, and one to guide young children to identify and manage their feelings. These courses don’t replace therapy, but aim to empower parents and to prevent further escalating of challenging situations. As an adoptive parent, I ask if there’s something suitable for carers of children with behavioural issues. She replies the course “Taitoboosti” promotes attachment strategies and tackles aspects common to adopted or foster kids.
“We thought it was important to have an easy access service for parents that you can use wherever you are, at any time you want, you are not tied to the office hours or the location of the service”. Heidi goes on to tell me many of the students are from different areas of Finland and they even had Finnish parents following the courses from abroad. In addition, some small towns have started using their services to support the families in their care. It’s a great win for them to see how their tailored contents reach parents all over Finland.
Courses are offered only in Finnish language, even though there’s a plan to scale up in the future and offer contents in English as well. FamilyBoost has received great appreciation and positive feedback by the local parenting community, and it’s been extremely rewarding. Beside courses, Heidi and Julia offer some tailored advice for students who ask for additional information, and they promote peer support through closed Facebook groups for their students. They curate a rich blog which I recommend you to follow closely. I love their motivation to make accurate and professional knowledge accessible to parents all over Finland. I’m grateful to Heidi for sharing her story with me and to FamilyBoost to provide these fantastic tools to families.
I have great news for my readers! FamilyBoost offers you a special 25%-off discount on all their courses. Just use the code theelephantmum during checkout. The offer is valid until January 31st, 2018. Don’t waste any time and boost your parenting now!