November 12, 2015
The Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) has partnered with the National Parenting Support Commission to launch an initiative aimed at increasing parenting skills to ensure that children are healthy and ready mentally and socially to engage the education system at grade one.
Nine hundred parents from six parishes will participate in the Parenting Empowerment Programme, which will be piloted for twelve months starting this month. The participants will attend workshops at the community level focusing on the areas of nutrition, discipline, safety, learning, and health needs. The information shared at the workshops will be reinforced through home visits.
This disclosure was made by Mrs Scarlett Duncan,Social Marketing Manager for PATH at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. She was speaking recently at the launch of Parents’ Month, which is being observed under the theme Parents Take Time, Be Involved. Parents’ Month activities are being coordinated by the National Parenting Support Commission, an agency of the Ministry of Education.
Mrs Duncan disclosed that the PATH parenting pilot project is being implemented as part of the Integrated Social Protection and Labour Programme in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security that is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. One of the main aims of this broader programme is to support PATH conditional cash grants, and strengthen the system through the introduction of parenting education for households with children two to six years old.
Noting that currently children in families on PATH are required to attend the health centre twice per year to maintain their benefits Mrs Duncans said that the parenting education pilot will explore the possibility of adjusting this requirement. This would result in children visiting the health centre once per year and their parents required to attend parenting workshops.
The PATH Social Marketing Manager noted that the launch of the Parenting Empowerment Programme represented a deepening of the partnership between the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Education. The PATH Unit and the National Parenting Support Commission jointly developed the curriculum for the parenting workshops. The parenting education pilot will be implemented in Kingston, St. Thomas, Portland, Clarendon, St. Ann and St. James.