National parenting strategy launched
Parents will benefit from easier and better access to information and support thanks to Scotland’s first national parenting strategy which is launched today.
The strategy sets out a range of commitments including:
- Investing £18m (2012-15) to improve access to information, advice and support for parents throughout their children’s lives
- Introducing legislation which provides a dedicated first contact– such as a health visitor - to co-ordinate support and advice for every child who needs it
- More help for families going through relationship difficulties, including a new website and £500,000 towards family counselling and mediation
- Extending the Family Nurse Partnership programme to more first-time teenage parents
- Offering parenting programmes to parents of young children with behavioural problems
- Reviewing the delivery of foster and kinship care across Scotland
- Creating more play and early learning opportunities by investing £1 million a year up to 2015 in the Play Talk Read campaign
- Making policies and services more Dad-friendly
- Promoting family friendly working through encouraging employers to adopt more flexible working practices
- Introducing the best package of flexible early learning and childcare anywhere in the UK
Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell said:
“The new National Parenting Strategy builds on the great work already underway to support parents in Scotland. It aims to provide the kind of support parents have told us they want, wherever they live.
“Parents told us they want to know where to go if they need help, and to be sure they can get support early enough to avoid a crisis. That’s why we are investing £18m to make it easier for parents to get help in their local area. And through the Children and Young People Bill we will offer all parents a dedicated first port of call such as a health visitor to co-ordinate information and support. We also plan to extend the Family Nurse Partnership programme to even more first time parents and carry out a wide-ranging review of foster and kinship care.
“We know parents or those with a parenting role are the greatest influence on children, so if we’re serious about improving children’s life chances and making Scotland the best place to grow up, we must ensure parents and carers feel empowered, valued, supported and confident in their abilities, while at the same time knowing help is out there if they need it.”
Clare Simpson, Project Manager at Parenting Across Scotland, added: “This strategy is the aspiration to make Scotland the best place in the world to bring up children. It is a joint document, made up of the views of the Government, organisations that work with families and parents themselves. Now, we all need to act together to make sure it becomes a reality.”
The commitment to improve family support is one of over 80 commitments, and is backed by £18 million from the Government’s Early Years Change Fund announced recently by the First Minister for local authorities to develop community based family support programmes.
The strategy was shaped by a widespread, informal consultation involving a wide range of practitioners, and over 1500 people with a parenting role. Covering every local authority area, it included input from lone parents, grandparents, service families, parents affected by issues such as substance misuse and prison and families from black and ethnic minority and travelling communities.