9 Promoting positive forms of parenting
What the Committee said:
"The Committee… recommends that the State party:
c) actively promote positive and non-violent forms of discipline and respect for children's equal right to human dignity and physical integrity, with a view to raising public awareness of children's right to protection from all corporal punishment and to decreasing public acceptance of its use in childrearing;
d) provide parental education and professional training in positive child-rearing."
Progress to date
- We have worked with partners at local level to implement the Early Years Framework with the aim of shifting the balance of care from crisis management to early intervention and prevention.
- Feedback from participants at a national parenting seminar held in June 2009 has been used, along with evidence from the Growing Up in Scotland ( GUS) study, to help inform and shape our policy on support for parenting.
- We have established an Early Years Task Force to lead the drive to preventative spend at a national level. This will be supported by the establishment of a £270 million Early Years Change Fund over this Parliamentary term. The Taskforce will co-ordinate policy across Government and the wider public sector to ensure that early years spending is prioritised by the whole public sector.
- We have set up a £6.8 million Early Years Early Action Fund which supports the third sector to focus on early intervention in the early years.
- The first to benefit from the Early Years Change Fund will be the new Communities and Families Fund. With £1.5 million per annum over the next three years it will support projects that bring tangible benefits for children and families, such as community playgroups/crèches, wrap-around care provision, parents' groups and wider family support. It recognises that parents, families and communities have the biggest positive impact on children in their earliest years and we need to make sure the right support is in place. We want to empower our communities to shape the provision they need in their local area.
- We are currently undertaking a review of the Unified Voluntary Sector Fund which was established in 2004 and has never been fully reviewed. The review reflects our commitment to ensuring that national funding is being used to support Scottish Government priorities, particularly in preventative spend.
- In January 2010 we set up a 'test' site for the Family Nurse Partnership Programme in the City of Edinburgh, within NHS Lothian area. A formative evaluation has been undertaken, and the first report was published in July 2011, showing early signs of positive results against the expected outcomes. Due to the success in Lothian, we have expanded the programme across NHS Tayside. Further expansion plans were announced on 1 December 2011, to increase the capacity across Scotland, to support three times as many families by the end of 2013. We are currently working with NHS Boards to assess their capacity to deliver the programme, and expect five new NHS Boards to be delivering the programme within the next two years.
- We invited nearly 100 organisations across Scotland to host discussions with parents between January-March 2012 on our behalf. These discussions will help us understand what would make a real, practical difference to them so that we can develop a meaningful parenting strategy (see 'next steps'). We are also asking them what are the best things about being a parent, because the parenting strategy will celebrate parenting, and demonstrate the value we place on parents and carers. We plan to publish a report of what parents have told us in June 2012.
- Further information on the work we are doing to support corporate parents is included under priority action area 11.
- We are developing a national parenting strategy that encourages agencies to work more closely together. We recognise that supporting parents is key to improving outcomes for children and young people. The parenting strategy will help ensure parents get the help they need, when they need it, and that services are delivered in an integrated way, by a well-trained and well-supported workforce. The parenting strategy will benefit not only mums and dads, but grandparents and other family members, as well as foster and adoptive parents. It will cover anyone involved in bringing up children and will cover parenting of children of all ages - from pre-conception and early childhood, through school years and adolescence to adulthood.
- We are gauging practitioners' views on parenting through a variety of professional networks and looking to engage with children and young people, all of which will help shape the detail of our approach.
- We intend to publish a national overarching parenting strategy later in 2012. This will be followed by more detailed work which will consider how we can support parenting in the early years, parenting of older children through to adulthood, and preparing our children and young people to be the parents of the future.
- We will continue to fund Scottish Book Trust for the Bookbug bookgifting programme (baby, toddler and pirate packs) in Scotland. We have increased funding to £1.5 million from 2012-13 to incorporate an assertive outreach programme within a number of vulnerable communities as well as the production of a new ante-natal pack.