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Cabinet has approved the implementation of a National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC).
The Commission will be established with the support of the Ministry of Education to spearhead the implementation of the National Parenting Policy, currently being developed through the Early Childhood Commission.
Speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing, held at Jamaica House, yesterday (June 4), Permanent Secretary in the Information Ministry, Faith Innerarity, noted that the Commission aimed to address the issues related to parenting.
“When we look at the level of crime and violence in the society, much of it is related to delinquency on the part of our youth, and much of this delinquency is linked to poor parenting,” she pointed out, adding that the Commission would provide support to parents in carrying out their roles.
Mrs. Innerarity said that the NPSC would ensure that proper parenting practices are adhered to, which would aid in the development of children in terms of addressing behavioural patterns and educational attainment. “The behavioural patterns which we are seeing in our adolescents, these began quite early…the parenting elements impact on education, how the children do within the education system, so this is going to be supporting the achievement of the social policy agenda,” she explained.
Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, said that the setting up of the Commission was an attempt to formalize the function of parenting within the context of Jamaica. “The idea now is to include parenting…where education actually starts in the home and the function that actually carries out education in the home is parenting; that there ought to be some form of regulation, some form of support for parents,” he explained.
The NPSC also aims to elevate the importance of parenting in the national psyche, that is, to ensure that parents understand the importance of their roles in national development by how their children are brought up.
Another function of the NPSP is to provide support in terms of information and other forms of support.
“For example, many parents are not able to identify when their children have special needs. The Commission will assist in terms of providing information. Many parents don’t know (of) services that are available to assist their children. The Commission will provide that kind of information,” he said.
The Minister further informed that the Commission would provide practical support, such as counselling. “Sometimes parents are at a crossroads with their children, where they are literally just giving up, and an intervention is necessary. They don’t know where to turn. The Parenting Commission, it is hoped, will provide this kind of service,” Mr. Holness said.
He pointed out that the Commission intends to assist existing institutions that provide support for parents with additional support from the government. “So, if we have resources to spend on supporting parents, we would prefer to work through existing institutions and where none exist within certain areas, then we will move to provide those institutions or partner with institutions,” the Minister explained.
In the meantime, approval was also given for the issuing of drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel for the development of appropriate legislation to guide the NPSC.

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