Parents need support to help their children

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Supporting parents is vital to helping young people who are
facing difficulties at home, according to a south London project
for 13 to 20-year-olds, writes Mithran
Samuel.

Myrtle Bernard and Sherine Thompson, who run the Catholic
Children’s Society’s Home and Away project in Lambeth, said its
parent mentoring programme had played a key role in building
bridges between its young clients and their parents.

In a workshop at Community Care Live – Children and
Families
in London, Thompson said: “What we try to get [young
people and parents] to understand is the position of being a parent
and the position of being a young person.”

She said parents faced particular difficulties because they were
increasingly being held responsible for their children’s behaviour,
through policies such as parenting orders and truancy fines.

Thompson added that parents with difficult relationships with
their children often felt misunderstood by professionals, adding:
“They want practitioners to value the steps they have taken and
make them feel they are doing a good job.” 

The mentoring programme offers parents personal support, advice
on understanding their children and parenting skills training.

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