On Wednesday, August 27, members of the Lifelong Learning Committee are being asked to approve the Perth and Kinross Parenting Strategy.
Raising children can be a hugely rewarding role but it can also be extremely challenging at times. The Parenting Strategy recognises that effective parenting is the key influence on the healthy physical and emotional development of children. Ensuring that children have the best start in life and families are nurtured and supported is a key aim of the Perth and Kinross Strategy.
By bringing together universal services including health, education, social work and the voluntary sector, crucial support to parents of children from preconception, throughout childhood to adulthood can be provided. The support outlined in the Strategy can make all the difference to parents who need a little support or to those with more complex long term needs.
Parents have asked for access to high quality, accurate information to enable them to make informed choices about all aspects of family life such as childcare, family learning opportunities and specialist support. In Perth and Kinross, the Children and Young People and Families website and Facebook page, launched by health services, and local Family Information Directories available on the Perth and Kinross Council website, offer information on all local services. In addition a parent and family friendly version of the strategy has been developed by a group of parents and staff from the North Perth Partnership. These parents have influenced the content by explaining what information they need as parents, where further support is needed for parents and how peer support and community initiatives are valuable in engaging new parents.
Through Evidence 2 Success research, parental surveys and consultations, the need for some new evidence based parenting programmes was identified. The Family Nurse Partnership is supporting young mothers. Incredible Years parenting programme is available for parents of 3-4 year olds and Strengthening Families will be open to families with children who are 10 – 11 years old in all local areas.
The Strategy will make a difference through further developing a skilled workforce; reducing barriers to accessing supports due to lack of access to childcare or transport; widening the digital skills for parents through IT provision and ensuring services are designed for parents to access them at times and places which suit them. The Strategy also focuses on the fathering role, which can often be undervalued. The provision of Men and Kids and Family Clubs and the new Men and Childcare award are just some of the actions being developed further through the Strategy.
This strategy aims to support parents be even more confident in their own skills, have access to the learning opportunities, information and support when they need it, support other parents and prevent problems from arising or escalating.
Councillor Bob Band, Convener of the Lifelong Learning Committee, said: “The objective of creating a new Parenting Strategy is to build on existing good practice and further develop positive joint working between the Council, the NHS, their partners and parents. The success of the strategy is dependent on parents being seen as their children’s main educators. The strategy seeks to ensure that parenting is championed, supported in communities and plays a key role in making a difference to the lives of children within Perth and Kinross.”