KINGSTON – The National Parenting Policy was tabled in the House of Representatives on Tuesday May 8, as Government continues to make good on its commitment to create an enabling environment that is supportive of parents.
In his message in the document, Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, said that through the policy, and the National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC), which is to be established, the Government would “elevate parenting on the national agenda” and provide concrete support to parents.
“We intend to ensure that they are supported as they seek to meet these responsibilities by promoting and coordinating organisational efforts and resources throughout the country that parents need to realize positive parenting practices," he added.
He said that even while offering support “we intend to ensure that our parents are aware of and understand what their responsibilities are under the law” and the “consequences of being delinquent in their responsibilities to their children".
The policy will be implemented through the NPSC. The vision of the policy is for all parents in Jamaica, whether by virtue of having given birth, adopting or serving as guardians, to recognize, accept, and discharge their duty to ensure that the rights of children are always upheld; that the best interests of children are always promoted; and that their children are always loved and provided with opportunities and resources to achieve their full potential and ultimate fulfillment, within safe, caring and nurturing environments.
In order to achieve this vision, five goals have been charted. They are: for all Jamaicans to make wise choices about becoming parents and making parenting a priority; for all children to be loved, nurtured and protected instinctively and unconditionally by their parents; for each parent to understand and utilize/apply positive practices in effective parenting; enabling institutional framework to support parenting; and ensuring that the principles and implications of effective parenting are communicated to the public in user-friendly ways that enable comprehension of the material regarding parenting, which is to be effectively communicated throughout the school system and the wider society.
For each of these priorities, seven areas are to be developed: public education and communication; policy, advocacy and legislative reform; behaviour change; service quality and access; coordination; and monitoring, evaluation, and research.
CONTACT: ALPHEA SAUNDERS