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Supporting the mental wellbeing of parents and children

The Early Years Framework (2008), which was developed by the Scottish Government, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and other partners, focuses on building parenting and family capacity; creating communities that support the positive development of children; delivering services that meet children’s holistic needs; and developing a workforce to deliver this agenda.

The early years workforce has a responsibility to support parents and carers by:

  • Developing and delivering universal parenting programmes with a strong emphasis on mental health improvement
  • Supporting all children and families, including tailored support for parents.
  • Involving expectant parents, prospective adoptive parents, parents, children, and young people in developing information resources and services to promote their mental wellbeing
  • Providing awareness-raising training and consultation about infants, children and young people’s mental health for health practitioners (midwives, health visitors, allied health professionals, social workers and staff working in adult mental health services) and other early years practitioners such as those working in education, social and voluntary services and care
  • Providing training and consultation for staff in pre-school and childcare
  • Ensuring links with education authorities and with private and voluntary sector childcare providers to support the mental health and wellbeing of early years staff.
  • Implementing local authority parenting frameworks

Many resources are available which aim to give parents the skills to help themselves and their children and interventions to support parents and pre-school children can be highly effective.

Development of parenting skills through training programmes can improve both the mental state of parents and the mental, social, behavioural and long term life chances of their children.