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Two thirds of polled parents say they want their parental responsibilities defined

24 April 2012

In a survey commissioned by Action for Children ¾ agreed there was no common understanding of what was meant by “good enough” parenting and 2/3rds felt the law was confusing.

Do we really need more “law on parenting”? The Children Act 1989 is sufficiently clear. It’s the practical application that makes the difference. Our experience suggests that where practitioners are unable, because of lack of resources, to provide support for families who are struggling to look after their children, a significant proportion become the subject of Care Proceedings.

Action for Children suggests courts should be able to order parents to undergo treatment, counselling or parenting courses. The questions arise; which courts? In which contexts? At who’s expense?

There are some great ideas here, but the amount of investment an overhaul of existing systems requires to implement it would be significant. Better to enable CYPDs to work with families at a much earlier stage so that they do not reach crisis.

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