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From the 1990s onwards, we can observe a growing number of initiatives in the area of parenting support in Europe. This broad range of national, regional and local initiatives includes the development of legislation and national strategies, as well as policies and specific programmes and practices. The scope, organisation, delivery and funding of parenting support services varies considerably across and within Member States. Nevertheless, a common set of characteristic features of parenting support can be identified in the European context.

Parenting support is typically organised and delivered in an integrated approach that facilitates collaborative working between practitioners from different sectors such as health, education and social services. Services are mostly universally accessible and include counselling, provision of support and information, and training programmes. The overall aim of parenting support programmes is to enable people to become better parents, provide better support to their children and create a positive family environment.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Understanding parenting support — historical perspective

  • Chapter Three

    A range of policies is relevant for child development and well-being

  • Chapter Four

    Defining and strengthening parenting support in the EU

  • Chapter Five

    Parenting support contributes to child development and well-being

  • Chapter Six

    What works in parenting support — a generic overview of policy approaches

  • Chapter Seven

    Parenting support has gained interest from policymakers at the European level

  • Chapter Eight

    Parenting support embedded in national legislation

  • Chapter Nine

    Characterising parenting support in Europe

  • Chapter Ten

    Example practices

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for the European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and conducted by RAND Europe.

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