Helping parents give children the best start in life.
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Families, parents, and caregivers play a central role in the wellbeing and development of their children. They offer identity, love, care, provision, and protection to children and adolescents, as well as economic security and stability. Families can be the biggest source of support for children, but also – under unfortunate circumstances – the greatest source of harm. Child welfare is, therefore, inextricably linked to parental wellbeing, so investing in all families, complemented by targeted support for the most vulnerable, is crucial to the realization of children's rights.
The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is clear: parents and guardians have the “primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child” (Article 18.1). But according to UN CRC article 18.2, states must “render appropriate assistance to parents and legal guardians in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities and shall ensure the development of institutions, facilities, and services for the care of children.”
In keeping with the spirit of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, family and parenting support is increasingly recognized as an important part of the national social policies and social investment packages aimed at reducing poverty, decreasing inequality, and promoting parental and child wellbeing. Over the past 20 years different models of family-related services have evolved in different parts of the world. The benefits of the different types of approaches, for both parents and children, have been documented through research, along with the analysis of social and economic/budgetary policies on the financing of family-support programmes (UNICEF Innocenti, 2015).
Approaches that support parents and caregivers can vary according to the type of violence being addressed, the age of the child, or the way the policies and programmes are delivered. Evidence supports a number of different delivery modalities as being effective, including home visits, group-based training, and support in community settings, and parenting as a component of comprehensive interventions (WHO, 2016, INSPIRE).
Family and Parenting Support: Policy and provision in a global context
Parenting Interventions: How well do they transport from one country to another?
The Relevance, Implementation and Impact of the Sinovuyo Teen Parenting Programme in South Africa
Parenting for Lifelong Health