New support for Highland parents
16th January 2014
Members of The Highland Council’s Adult and Children’s Services Committee have given their unanimous endorsement for a Highland Parent Support Framework.
The framework report which received members’ approval today aims to support parents and families to enable them to give their children the best start in life.
Included in the aims of the framework is an assurance that Highland families are offered information and advice that is appropriate to their needs, at the earliest opportunity.
Chairman of The Highland Council’s Adult and Children’s Services Committee Councillor Alasdair Christie said: “The creation of this multi-agency Highland Parent Support Framework reflects the Council’s commitment to work together for our children and young people and also the Scottish Government’s National Parenting Strategy.
“The benefits of this Framework advice will be that Highland children are given the best possible opportunity to grow up healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, and responsible and included.”
Dr Margaret Somerville, Director of Public Health for NHS Highland, said: “I really welcome this Framework. We want our parents to be as well prepared as possible to bring up their children. It is important to monitor and measure the effectiveness of the Framework to ensure that its implementation is successful.”
Highland Councillor Kate Stephen, Champion for Older People and Adults who is a member of the multi-agency Supporting Parents Improvement Group that developed the Highland Parent Support Framework added: “I would like to express my thanks for the care and professionalism of the individuals and services that were involved in putting this Framework together to a very high standard.”
Support identified in the framework includes improved access to information for parents on how to they can best provide a positive home environment. Other possible improvements for parents include the provision of information:
· at Highland Council service points and Health Centres and within school introductory packs;
· at parent sessions within schools;
· contained in visual materials such as DVDs; and
· Online information for practitioners to support parents.
The framework also identifies the potential for communities to produce local ‘family-friendly guides’ on play spaces and walks, accessibility levels, wet weather activities, places to eat, toilets/changing facilities, local sources of advice and support in local areas. The guides could be printed or published on the internet.
Professional support to provide structure groups and programme for parents is another action identified in the framework which will enable the building of social networks and learning from peers. Baby massage instruction teaching parents new skills; and parent and toddler groups and Bookbug sessions in libraries are highlighted in the Framework.
See the full report