Parenting Matters: Early years and social mobility – A response from the Race Equality Foundation

Posted on Thu 4 Aug 2011

Parenting Matters: Early years and social mobility – A response from the Race Equality Foundation
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The Parenting Matters report is a welcome addition to the debate on how Britain can do better at raising children who are happy, safe and successful at the same time as cutting the costs of failure.  The report’s call to make parenting classes more widely available resonates with what parents have been saying to the Race Equality Foundation for many years.

Parenting Matters however does not recognise the significant achievements of evidence-based programmes such as our own Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities.  SFSC has been helping parents on low incomes for many years with our evaluation reports showing that over 61 per cent of parents have household incomes of less than £10,000.  At the same time SFSC has managed to engage black and minority ethnic parents (about 60 per cent of participants) as well as white parents (around 39 per cent of participants) with more than half of all parents leaving education by the time they were 18.  Recent data also shows that around 59 per cent of programmes have at least one father participating.

The Foundation would suggest that while learning from other European experiences is valuable, it is important that Britain builds on its own successes such as those seen by SFSC.  Better and wider implementation of the lessons that we have learnt, such as delivering an evidence-based programme, adopting an empathetic approach, working with voluntary and community groups, and delivering programmes in a range of community languages, has the potential to help more families raise happy, safe and successful children.

Contact Jabeer Butt (0207 428 1880)

Read the full report from Centre Forum, Parenting Matters