JIS News

A National Parenting Policy (NPP) as well as a National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) will be coming on stream soon.
This is outlined in a Ministry Paper tabled in the House of Representatives last week by Minister of Education, Andrew Holness.
Funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the NPP should be at the ‘Green Paper’ stage by June/July and the NPSC should be in place by September 2008.
The NPP and the NPSC will be multi-sectoral initiatives that together, will mount a “parenting revolution” to ensure that parents are aware of, and have access to, the information and support needed to enable all children to develop to their full potential by meeting their survival, growth and developmental needs and rights in a safe and caring environment, the Ministry Paper says.
The NPSC will assist with the completion of the NPP; the development of the accompanying plans of action and begin some preliminary work around bringing partners together; working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on situational analysis of services and materials for parenting; documenting best practices; public education (that is, a parenting handbook for new mothers, replicating the model locally developed for the home-visiting early stimulation Roving Caregivers Programme).
Recent national studies have pointed to serious challenges to effective parenting in Jamaica, the three most significant being: limited knowledge of child development; high levels of parental stress and limited father involvement.
Therefore, the objectives of the NPP are to support the development of an enabling environment for the nation’s children, specifically to define effective parenting from a Jamaican perspective, taking international best practices into consideration; to define the required framework for national programming, including the role of supporting organizations, materials development and service delivery, with particular attention to families made vulnerable by poverty, illness and other disadvantages; to support children’s rights and; to ensure equality for, and inclusion of, the most vulnerable families, whilst strengthening the systems of accountability of parents to fulfill their obligations.
The overall goal of the NPSC is to facilitate the implementation of the NPP. The NPSC will be an over-arching co-ordinating body providing a framework for action to support holistic child development and act as a guide to identifying policies, programmes and resources through which the government will foster an enabling environment to facilitate better parenting.

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