Children’s social services should develop a national policy framework for parent support, according to the chief executive of Newham Council.
At Community Care Live on Thursday, Kim Bromley-Derry said parenting support was one of the most effective forms of early intervention and a sound investment for local authorities to make.
“Research says good parenting has the most significant impact on later-life outcomes for children,” Bromley-Derry told delegates. “What we need is a uniform, systematic approach to parenting support in the UK.”
While there is a lot of good practice already happening in a number of councils, Bromley-Derry said, a nationally standardised system would enable more comprehensive support.
“The problem we have now is that local authorities and voluntary services are picking and chosing the parenting programmes they want in place, so each is doing its own thing,” he said.
“But this would be much more effective if we thought of a way to join this up across the country. If Kent is doing something great, how does that translate to Newham, for instance?”
Bromley-Derry said it was up to local authorities to implement the framework, as the government was “very hands-off” in this area.
He added that the policy could not realistically be statutory, due to tight funding across local authorities.