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Advice on our pen picture for PAR please!

(12 Posts)
MrsH1989 Tue 15-Mar-16 11:28:39

Hi All
I ma writing our pen picture (family one) but am really struggling with it. I have no idea how to start or end it, I have written it quite informal and light hearted but have no idea if it is "right". I have copy and pasted it below changing the names. If you have time to read it I would love some feedback on what to add or take out. Many thanks.

Our names are Joe and Jane and we have a 3-year-old birth child called Ian. We live on the outskirts of city centre in a quiet village called *. We have many things to do on our doorstep including a nature park with a small pond where we can feed the ducks, some parks with play equipment and even a small waterpark feature that comes alive with children in the summer. We are a 5-minute drive from the city centre which has plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes to enjoy and are 10 minutes away from * outlet village. There are plenty of supermarkets, butchers and convenience stores close by.
There are 4 primary schools in our immediate area, 3 are rated good and one outstanding by Ofsted. Ian is already attending a great Montessori nursery where the staff are great fun and very friendly. Overall it is very flexible and often accommodates last minute changes. The local sure start centres put classes on for babies and toddlers and often have a health visitor on hand for advice. These were a great help when Ian was younger.
Family days out are a regular event for us. For many months, Joe worked weekends and now we get to spend them as a family we try to make the most of it. We regularly visit the many soft play areas that are all within a ten- minute drive of our home. It is one of favourite things to do in the cold winter months. Here we all love climbing the frames (yes all of us!) and they even put classes on for babies and toddlers which we hope to make more use of. We also enjoy going for walks around the nature park or even Delamere Forest which is reasonably close by. Delamere often do adventure trails during half term, a popular trail recently was the Gruffalo trail. Ians favourite thing about Delamere Forest is jumping in muddy puddles!
In the warmer months, we take longer walks and often visit * ice-cream farm along with another favourite of ours, zoo. We have an annual pass for the zoo and try to make the most of it. We enjoy looking for the jaguar (after countless visits we finally found it!) and Ian loves the butterflies and the aquarium.
We eat out as a family around 3 times a month in one of the many child friendly pubs in our area. Ian likes to chat with the staff and order his own meal. Occasionally, Ian is left to enjoy some quality time with a set of grandparents whilst us grown-ups enjoy some adult time with a nice meal out in a restaurant. We are lucky that both sets of grandparents are still with us and well enough to take an active role in looking after Ian and any future children.

Please help!

[Post edited by MNHQ for privacy]

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Tue 15-Mar-16 13:42:20

You've missed a name change. Get mn to edit? I'll report my post so they are on it?

MrsH1989 Tue 15-Mar-16 20:33:01


Hels20 Tue 15-Mar-16 20:52:18

Is this for the "flyer"? Like a summary of your PAR?

Ours was very different - pretty formal and punchier. With bullet points. E.g Hels and Mr Hels been together for X years; Hels is a Y and Mr Hels is a X; Hels is [age], Mr Hels is [age]; live in X; strong support network; Hels would give up work for a year; description of interests etc.

Our SW wrote ours.

I just wonder if the content somehow gets lost.

But not entirely sure what a pen picture is because I have never heard of one...

Hels20 Tue 15-Mar-16 20:53:28

We also wrote in our "flyer" what types of children we would consider eg siblings, with moderate learning difficulties/disabilities. We also described our ethnicity.

Yours might be fine once I know what a pen picture is!!

PicaK Tue 15-Mar-16 21:23:24

I think this reads well but my few suggestions would be....
a) don't focus on the excellent schools - suggesting you may be focused on academic results. Instead point out how you already have a connection with nursery and having an older sibling means you will be in a great position to advocate for your child.
B) Make it really clear your DH doesn't work weekends any more - i'd leave it out tbh.
c) i'd definitely add something in about you now knowing the benefit of askng the surestart people for help when you needed it.
D) i'd make more of the fact you can be flexible about your child's needs. I love all the stuff you do with Ian but you could just add in a bit that you do it cos he likes it.
E) do you have friends? Do you mix with families with children? If so say so.
All of the above are things that made social workers beam. It's clunky i know but you can put the buzz words in without changing the light tone

MrsH1989 Tue 15-Mar-16 21:30:05

Thank you. Not sure what a "flyer" is a Hels, we were just told to write 500 words about our family. They said to include things about our area, what we like to do etc.
Thanks Picak, very helpful advice.

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Tue 15-Mar-16 21:56:27

I agree with picak plus I think you could stand to lose the bit about grandparents babysitting. It sounds as though you're already sorting alternative childcare. I think it might make sws wary.

Hels20 Wed 16-Mar-16 02:39:27

Aah - ok. The "flyer" is what was sent out to SWs of children we were interested in. If they liked the flyer, then our PAR would be sent.

If you have been asked to write 500 words about yourselves, then you can't have been approved yet and this will go into your PAR and so what you have written seems fine to me.

dimples76 Wed 16-Mar-16 15:27:13

These things are so hard to write but my LA gave me a couple of examples.

I had to write a pen portrait for my Registration of Interest for Stage One which got copied over to my PAR. I agree with the suggestion above from Hels20 re removing the grandparents babysitting reference.

The other thing I thought I would mention is that I included a brief description of my personality, age, physical description and job. Yours seems a little more focussed on describing your neighbourhood and amenities and what you do rather than what you are like.

fasparent Wed 16-Mar-16 15:45:00

Would keep it simple too the point.
Have good close family support also close freinds
Am aware of Nursary's close by who can offer support sevice's and advice if we need them.
Think you need to say somthing about your self's more, hobby's, have you worked with children, Taking maternity leave etc.
Wish you luck

MrsH1989 Thu 17-Mar-16 07:11:05

Thanks all. I am finding the personality thing hard as we have 3 of us to write about . Would you just do a sentence or two about each of us or describe us as a whole "laid back family" etc?

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