Key principles in work with parents
The child is the focus
It may sound obvious - the rights and needs of the child are the starting point for all parenting support. The key aim of any work with parents is to protect children's rights and enable parents to meet their children's needs.
Work in partnership with parents
Parents want practitioners who are confident and well-informed, but also able to get alongside them and show an interest in them and their lives. When practitioners and parents work together within an ethos of partnership, with each contributing their particular expertise and knowledge, this helps to overcome barriers that prevent parents seeking support and ensures that support is effective and relevant.
Adopt a strength-based approach
Parents have unique knowledge and information about their children and the vast majority of parents want to do their best, although some struggle to do so. Work with parents should be non-judgemental and should seek to empower by building on and valuing parents' existing strengths, knowledge and experience.
Services should be inclusive and accessible
Practitioners should engage with all those in a parenting role, respecting gender and cultural differences and tailoring support to the needs of different parents.
Be aware of, and aim for, good practice
Workforce development and support is key to ensuring high quality parenting support. Staff should have specific training for work with parents and be encouraged to reflect on and develop their skills and practice.
Download: Principles and values that underpin the national occupational standards for work with parents
Download: UN Convention on the rights of the child - in child-friendly language