More parental support is needed

Charity Parentline Plus today welcomes the government’s
unveiling of the National Service Framework for Children.

We particularly welcome Standard 2 – the inclusion of support
for parents and

carers and acknowledgement of their essential role in enabling
their children to get the most out of life.

Parents are increasingly worried about their children’s
levels of stress and anxiety and our research indicates that many
are desperate for more help. Nearly half of all calls to our
helpline are from parents who talk about their child’s
emotional health. Most talk about difficulties they are have with
their teenage children. They want guidance on how to talk to their
children about their emotional distress or depression and on how to
get more individual support from professionals and agencies.

We believe that support should go further than that outlined in
the framework. More preventive work is needed; this must be a
universal entitlement and parents must feel confident about their
right to ask for such support. Parents can feel they are failing if
they resort to outside agencies, but we know that most parents
struggle at some time.

If the government could commit to publicly reassuring parents,
perhaps through advertising, that they have every right to support,
and emphasise that they are not failing if they seek such support,
then society too would have to reflect this absolute.

Jan Fry
Director of external relations
Parentline Plus

Could somebody please pay?

Your report (Research reviews, September) on the financial
relationship between young people and their parents raises worrying
issues. The government assumes parents will support their children
at college and even when they’re out at work – hence the
lower minimum wage for young people. But it forgot to tell parents
of their obligations.

This confusion causes strains in family relationships, and not
only between parents and their child. If there are two parents in
the family – or one natural parent and one step-parent – they may
feel very differently about their responsibilities.

The government must come clean about parents’ financial
responsibilities towards young people.

Heather Grocer

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