National Parenting Strategy: Work in Progress

Date: 17th June 2013
Category: Family Environment and Alternative Care

When the Scottish Government published its first National Parenting Strategy in October 2012, Ministers wanted it to make a real, practical difference to parents and carers. They also said that it was a 'work in progress'. So what's happening?

The National Parenting Strategy included 82 commitments covering a wide range of areas, from family and relationships support to health care. But it is clear that the value of the strategy will be in its implementation. The good news is that many of the commitments are already underway, with some already completed.

For example, the Ready Steady Baby App and the Relationship Helpline have both been launched. What's more, parenting issues have, for the first time, been included in the survey of prison visitors, and a Ministerial Summit on how to support children looked after at home and their parents has taken place.

The National Parenting Strategy highlighted that the information and advice available to parents and carers would be assessed. We have made good progress: Children 1st has completed a mapping exercise (to be published shortly), which shows that there is a vast array of up-to-date information and advice covering a wide range of issues. But it recommends that we should look at innovative ways of getting information out to parents and carers, rather than just relying on traditional paper-based methods, or the internet.

The National Parenting Strategy also includes fathers specifically and here too Parenting Across Scotland have made progress. They have set up a 'Fathers National Advisory Panel' which will help ensure that Scotland's policies and services are more inclusive.

The National Parenting Strategy does not exist in isolation and there are many other exciting developments which will help us achieve our aim of making Scotland the best place in the world to grow up. These include the launch of the Early Years Collaborative at the end of last year and the introduction of the Children and Young People Bill.