Ponseti for Parents
STEPS provides family support through online support groups, social media, our bedtime storybook especially for kids in clubfoot braces, and our recycled brace programme for families with limited or no healthcare plan.
We give parents advice on clubfoot treatment, connect them with doctors and clubfoot clinics, and give encouragement for their clubfoot journey. We are here to walk with parents every step of the way.
Ponseti for Parents© education programme
STEPS developed the concept of the Ponseti for Parents© programme to support families with vital information and advice to ensure successful treatment.
Parents and caregivers are extremely important in achieving good results, as they are the ones who take the child to the clinic, deal with cast care at home, check for any problems, make sure the brace is on properly for 23 hours a day in the first three months of wear and then commit to their child sleeping in the brace until age four.
Recent studies, and anecdotal reports we have received from clubfoot clinics, indicate that family support and education with a positive message help parents to follow the treatment guidelines, and reduces recurrence.
We designed this as a multi-media parent education programme to work in weekly clubfoot clinics:
- Parents at the clinic waiting room meet other families and see children in different stages of treatment, and they can talk to each other. STEPS raises funds for clinics that have no waiting room facilities to make it more comforting and welcoming (including toys, changing mats, feeding chairs, etc.).
- STEPS identifies advisers in clinics who can be trained to understand the different stages of treatment and how to advise and support parents. The Ponseti for Parents© parent adviser manual provides information about clubfoot and the treatment, what to expect, and how important their involvement and commitment is to ensure a successful outcome.
- The first time parent gets a take-home leaflet that has basic information on clubfoot, a treatment overview, and the casting phase.
- The second take-home leaflet is for the start of the brace phase.
The leaflets are informative and practical, and repeat the message from the parent adviser. There are many visual references to make it simpler to absorb the content. The materials are translated into Afrikaans, SeSotho, SetSetswana, isiZulu and ixiXhosa to make it more accessible to the Southern African population. There are also translations available in French and Hungarian.
Steps produced a parent information DVD that can be shown in clinic waiting rooms which reinforces the same messages given by the parent advisers and the leaflets.
There is also a poster designed for use in child health clinics, ante natal clinics, and immunisation centres, etc. This raises awareness that clubfoot can be treated, a simple explanation of how it is treated, and where to go for help.
Steps is committed to supporting parents and the Ponseti for Parents© programme is our contribution to achieving the best outcome for children with clubfoot.