In December 2010 the Centre for Effective Services (CES) established ‘The Special Interest Group – Supporting parents in their Parenting Role’ with support from Atlantic Philanthropies.
This all-island group included agency Directors or CEOs, funders and public officials, professional bodies and practitioners engaged in direct work and academics and professional researchers in the relevant sectors.
The Special Interest Group on Parenting became the Parenting Network and has been a central part of an all island approach to promote the value of Parenting Support and to secure the necessary policy and strategy to embed Parenting Supports as key elements of all child and family infrastructure in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
It has had a key role in sharing the learning in evidence-based practice, new emerging research and innovative examples of best practice across the island of Ireland.
The Parenting Network is always evolving and developing in response to the changing policy, research and service delivery landscape and retains a commitment to add value to new and existing work and networks.
The Parenting Network aims to:
- Create a space to explore issues relevant to parents in their parenting role.
- Positively influence research, policy and practice to improve outcomes for children and families.
- Connect people, groups and agencies, and add value to existing work and networks.
- Advocate for accessible parenting support to be available to all parents regardless of their family context
- Support the development of strategies that ensure that parenting is highly valued and supported.
- Promote a cross-sectoral, cross-Departmental, interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to Parenting and Parenting Supports.
Principles underpinning Parenting Supports
The Parenting Network developed 11 key principles for best practice in Parenting Support.
- Prevention and early intervention
- All stages of the child’s development including pregnancy and transitions to young adulthood
- All Parenting contexts, circumstances and family types
- Progressive universalism
- Evidence based/informed approaches
- Children’s rights
- Parents’ voice
- Quality relationships
- Quality universal services for all with indicators and standards
- Social capital returns through prevention, early intervention and supporting parents
- Sharing the learning and building on experience in terms of ‘what works’ in Parenting Supports