Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) has, to date, established 125 Parent Places in primary schools across the six regions of the Ministry of Education.
  • The Parent Place is described as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for parenting information, skills training and support on effective parenting. It offers what is described as “21st century parenting” through quality information and referrals, access to parenting resources and workshops.
  • The mission of the NPSC is to assist parents in developing the skills they need to raise their children, while promoting a collaborative effort between home, school and the community.

The National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) has, to date, established 125 Parent Places in primary schools across the six regions of the Ministry of Education.

Executive Director of the NPSC, Dr. Patrece Charles-Freeman, said the centres were instituted through collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and benefit from assistance from volunteer mentors and on-staff parent support managers.

The Parent Place is described as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for parenting information, skills training and support on effective parenting. It offers what is described as “21st century parenting” through quality information and referrals, access to parenting resources and workshops.

Dr. Charles-Freeman told JIS News that the NPSC is looking to establish Parent Places in high schools this academic year. She said the first phase will target schools identified in the National Education Inspectorate (NEI) Report as being unsatisfactory and in need for such intervention.

“What we are trying to achieve through (this initiative) is less absenteeism and a decrease in the rate of dropouts for students, especially in the high schools,” she pointed out.

Dr. Charles-Freeman told JIS News that the NPSC has developed a programme called Stay Connected, which is designed to increase and maintain parental involvement throughout the adolescent years.

“What we are trying to do…is to help parents to stay connected to their children throughout high school because that is the time that they (usually) disconnect from their children,” she pointed out.

 

The pilot for this programme is being implemented at Jamaica College, Holy Trinity High, Spanish Town High, and Norman Manley High schools.

Dr. Charles-Freeman said the Commission has also developed a risk assessment tool to evaluate parenting needs, and the level and method of support.

“So, when we go into a community, or we register parents from the schools, we give them this evaluation. It shows their level of parental involvement at home, school and in the community. It shows the parenting style, whether it’s authoritative, permissive or neglectful. It also indicates their knowledge level in several different areas,” she explained.

With that information, she said, the NPSC is then able to create intervention programmes that are specific to the community and school, in which the parent is involved.

“It also shows the type of support that the parent may need at home, which guides parent mentors and social workers as to the type of referrals they need to make and structures they need to assist them with,” she said.

‘From Street Talk to Real Talk’ is another initiative of the NPSC, designed to reach parents and caregivers in their community, through walk-through and door-to-door interactions.

The first outreach was held in May 2015 in Tredegar Park and adjoining communities. Another is to be held in St. Thomas this month.

The NPSC also has a volunteer-based initiative, the Parent Mentorship Programme, to provide assistance to families at risk or in need.

Officially launched in 2013, the NPSC is an agency of the Ministry of Education that works under the Education System Transformation Programme (ESTP), responsible for developing, implementing and sustaining the National Parenting Policy (NPP).

 

The mission of the NPSC is to assist parents in developing the skills they need to raise their children, while promoting a collaborative effort between home, school and the community.