NPSC encourages parents to utilize new UNICEF ParentText WhatsApp service
Latest ParentText live session to further support parents being held Sunday, July at 4pm via @unicefjamaica on Instagram featuring Parenting Partners Caribbean and Children First Agency.
KINGSTON, JULY 14, 2022 – The National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) is encouraging parents to take advantage of UNICEF Jamaica’s new parenting resource ParentText Jamaica, which conveniently puts “family tips at your fingertips”. ParentText Jamaica, an automated WhatsApp messaging service spearheaded by UNICEF Jamaica in partnership with Oxford University and the Government of Jamaica and was launched in partnership with the NPSC on Friday, June 17. The parenting pilot is being complimented by a series of live Instagram discussions where parents can interact with experts.
ParentText Jamaica was developed with support from the European Union (EU) funded Spotlight Initiative to prevent family violence. ParentText is geared towards providing parents and of children aged 0 to 17 years with practical and personalized parenting tips and techniques in multimedia formats for various stages of a child’s development.
To sign up parents send the word PARENT on WhatsApp to 876-838-4897, which is the number for U-Report, UNICEF’s social messaging service which hosts ParentText.
“Various government organizations including the Commission have been working on a national approach to address child abuse and neglect, hence the introduction of ParentText as a convenient and accessible parenting resource by UNICEF Jamaica is very timely,” said NPSC CEO, Kaysia Kerr.
“We recognize that parents need support now more than ever before, so I am imploring all parents to access ParentText and tune into the ParentText LIVE sessions. These resources complement those offered by NPSC such as our Parent Mentors and Parent Support Helpline (876-560-9272),” Kerr concluded.
The first session took place on Sunday, June 26 via @unicefjamaica on Instagram and was followed by a second session on Sunday, July 3rd under the themes ‘Parent-child bond from birth’ and ‘Positive Parenting’ respectively. Guest experts have included key local partners such as the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, Family Life Ministries and Reach Up: A University of the West Indies (UWI) aligned programme that emphasizes the importance of playing with our children.
The third parenting session is set to take place at 4pm this Sunday, July 17 under the theme Child Behaviour Management with Parenting Partners Caribbean and Children First Agency, two organizations who assisted in the localization of the more than 6,000 messages contained within ParentText.
UNICEF Jamaica is also urging parents to join the live discussions.
“On the heels of our successful ParentText Jamaica launch, we thought it was essential to give parents an opportunity to hear from industry experts some of the practical ways that they can improve their parenting and relationships with their children. We are especially excited that ParentText offers some level of choice and personalization as it gives parents the opportunity to select the age and gender of their child, as well as their own parenting goals. This personalization will make the parenting tips and techniques more relevant to parents and hopefully provide them with some of the support that they need,” said UNICEF Jamaica Child Protection Specialist, Charlene Coore Desai.
ParentText was originally developed globally – by University of Oxford’s Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH) initiative and IDEMS International (Innovations in Development, Education and the Mathematical Sciences) with funding from the LEGO Foundation. Jamaica was the second country in the world to launch following Malaysia. Oxford University will be conducting a study of the pilot, which contains a sub-pilot with student mothers aged 16-18 years old from the Women’s Centre of Jamaica (WCJF) that received consent from their parents.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Jamaica, visit www.unicef.org/jamaica.