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Work with parents has been defined as:
Services which aim to enable parents to enhance their parenting. These included formal and informal interventions to increase parenting skills, improve parent/child relationships, parenting insight, attitudes and behaviours, confidence in parenting and so on. (Barlow et al, 2007).
Some other definitions of work with parents are:
Other terms that are often used interchangeably (and in combination) but often mean different things include parenting support, family support, parent education and parent training.
It is important to make a distinction between parent support and parenting support. The former could refer to a wide range of activity which supports someone who is a parent, the latter is working specifically with a mum, dad or carer to enhance their parenting role - i.e. work with parents.
There are a large number of universal, targeted and specialist support services planned and commissioned, which are provided in different ways by a variety of agencies and partnerships throughout the UK.
Work with parents takes place in both group and one to one settings. There are a range of structured parenting programmes and interventions which have been developed for practitioners to use with parents, some of which have been assessed to evaluate how effective they are by the parenting commissioning toolkit.
Parenting programmes and interventions cover a range of topics and the right parenting programme or intervention needs to be selected for each parent, but typically they involve working together with parents to support them to:
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