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  • Executive Director of the National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC), Dr. Patrece Charles, has charged graduates of the body’s mentorship training programme to provide the best possible guidance and support for at-risk parents.
  • Dr. Charles was addressing the graduation ceremony for the first cohort of parent mentors under the NPSC’s mentorship programme held today (December 17) at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
  • Minister of Education, the Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, in his remarks, said that being a good parent “is the most important thing any adult person can do,” noting that this is the crucial message that has been imparted in the mentorship training sessions, and which should be inculcated in mentees.

Executive Director of the National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC), Dr. Patrece Charles, has charged graduates of the body’s mentorship training programme to provide the best possible guidance and support for at-risk parents.

“You’re going to be the spokesperson for the NPSC in the communities that you’re going to be assigned…we expect you to go out there and find those parents that are at risk (and provide the appropriate intervention),” she said.

Dr. Charles was addressing the graduation ceremony for the first cohort of parent mentors under the NPSC’s mentorship programme held today (December 17) at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

She told the mentors that they will be required to work directly with these at-risk parents in their homes and will be tasked with encouraging them to become more involved in their children’s lives.

“You need to go out and find those parents that think it’s better for them to go to parties rather than stay home with their children, leaving their children vulnerable; those parents who have never gone to (their child’s) school, (and) don’t even know the names of their teachers. Even if they don’t attend a Parent-Teachers’ Association (PTA) meeting, we want them to challenge themselves to get involved more,” she said.

She added that the graduates would also be expected to work in the schools in their communities to either establish or re-energise the PTA.

Dr. Charles noted that being a parent mentor is not about “having a fancy ID and saying that you represent the commission,” but “getting out there and making a difference in the community.”

“It’s just a small number now, but imagine how many lives you can impact right now, by just going into the community and simply imparting what you have learnt in the sessions,” she said.

Minister of Education, the Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, in his remarks, said that being a good parent “is the most important thing any adult person can do,” noting that this is the crucial message that has been imparted in the mentorship training sessions, and which should be inculcated in mentees.

He expressed the hope that through this intervention, “we will see real exponential growth of parenting mentoring and good parenting in Jamaica’s future, starting 2015.”

Guest speaker, Children’s Advocate, Diahann Gordon Harrison welcomed the programme, noting that it is a “timely and very practical” initiative, which is working to develop and build the capacity of parent mentors “who, no doubt, will enhance parenting support networks within communities.”

“It is with great anticipation that I await the consequences of your positive influence on parents and, by extension, the consequential impact on the lives of their children,” she said.

A total of 23 parent mentors graduated from the NPSC’s mentorship programme, which is a voluntary initiative designed to provide assistance and support to families at-risk or in need.

Established in 2013, the NPSC is the lead agency in the Ministry of Education that interfaces with parents and community stakeholders, and is tasked with providing a framework for supporting parents, and improving parental skills.

 

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