New database lists fatherhood training providers

6 November 2006

Parenting UK has launched a searchable database of parenting support training providers, including those which focus particularly on fathers.

The database, commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills and called the Commissioners’ Toolkit, is intended for use by commissioners of parenting support in local authorities and by others in similar roles across England – who will be able to use it to select and locate parenting support programmes that can be replicated for use in their area. Parenting programmes are defined broadly as ‘any formal interventions designed to support the parent/child relationship’, and this includes practitioner training as well as programmes which train parents directly.

Parenting UK stresses that the programmes listed – which included 40 related to fathers specifically when the database launched in October 2006 – have been selected where the authors/providers have produced evidence that the programmes have been assessed as being of good quality and have a proven and effective evidence-base. While every attempt has been made to be as accurate as possible, Parenting UK itself is not responsible for the information on each programme, which in each case has been provided by the programme author/provider.

Parenting UK advises commissioners that when reviewing evaluations of parenting programmes, they should consider: whether the evaluation is independent and objective; whether the evaluation has been undertaken by an organisation or an individual with the appropriate skills and knowledge in undertaking evaluations; details of outcomes and effectiveness. For some of the programmes a peer assessment, written by an experienced practitioner in response to standard questions, is available from Parenting UK.

For more information on how to search the database, and to access the database itself, visit the Commissioners’ Toolkit website.

Last year Parenting UK coordinated the development of national occupational standards for work with parents – which form a ready made, nationally agreed set of competencies on which organisations can base service developments, and are based on the following principles:

  • Parenting education and support should reflect the rights of the child set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) ratified by the UK in December 1991
  • Practitioners work in partnership with parents at all times
  • Mothers, fathers and those in a parenting role are acknowledged as having unique knowledge and information about their children
  • Children are the responsibility of the wider society as well as their families
  • Work with Parents should be non-judgemental and anti-discriminatory and should seek to empower by building on and valuing parents’ existing strengths, knowledge and experience
  • Parenting education and support should be available to, and practitioners should engage with, all those in a parenting role
  • Gender, cultural diversity and different needs must be respected; entitlement, quality and inclusiveness are of fundamental importance to those who work with parents
  • Anyone who works with parents should have specific training for that purpose
  • Good practice requires reflection and a continuing search for improvement

To find out more about the national occupational standards, visit the relevant pages of the Parenting UK website.