Barnardo’s nurtures struggling young families

Being a parent is one of the most important jobs there is. It is also one of the hardest. Little attention is paid to preparing people for this vital role, yet parents are the key to giving children a happy and stable childhood.

Most parents want to do their best for their children but for many, living with disadvantage can severely compromise their ability. Poverty, unsuitable and insecure housing, domestic violence, lone parenthood, and being a young parent can all disrupt a parent's ability to cope, and families under stress need extra support.

Evidence increasingly emphasises the importance of early brain development, with very early experiences having a lifelong impact on long term mental and emotional health.

Our work includes parenting groups and one-to-one work with parents through our network of family centres, community-based parenting programmes, and specialised work with parents who have particular needs.

Some services organise courses which give parents a chance to step back and think about some of the things they are doing and how to improve. We also help girls who become pregnant whilst still at school by providing support to enable them to finish their education and prepare for parenthood. Barnardo’s parenting services provide both general support and specific parenting education programmes which enable parents to deal more effectively with a range of children’s behaviour.

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