Parents need support to help their children

    New Asset  

    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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