|Title:||The Future of Family Policy: Working in Partnership to Support Strong and Stable Parenting|
|Date:||Tuesday 10th July 2012|
|Time:||10.15am – 4:30pm|
Register your place
|Julia Gault, Deputy Director of Family Strategy, Department for Education|
|Helen Dent CBE, Chief Executive, Family Action|
The early years in a child’s life are critical to their well-being, future happiness, attainment and resilience, laying the foundations for their long-term development. For children growing up in disadvantaged families, their experiences in the foundation years can either embed disadvantage or give them the opportunity to break free from cycles of deprivation.
Striving to place families at the heart of public services, ‘Supporting Families in the Foundation Years’ (April 2012) introduces new arrangements for more flexible parental leave and childcare to enable parents to balance their working and family responsibilities, alongside improved access to parenting and relationship support. In order to promote child development and family health, the Government has committed to implementing the Healthy Child Programme fully and consistently to better meet families’ needs and has reformed the Early Years Foundation Stage to ensure children are ‘school ready’ and parents are engaged in their child’s development.
Seeking to address the social and economic differences between families, the Government has pledged to strengthen the national network of Sure Start Children’s Centres and their role in improving outcomes for young children and their families, extend free early education to the most disadvantaged two year olds and ensure that professionals use every opportunity to identify and address any additional needs of children, their parents or other key family members.
For the most troubled families who are stuck in a cycle of unemployment, alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour, the impact on the life chances and outcomes for children are significant, with figures indicating that they are ten times more likely to be in trouble with the police and eight times more likely to be excluded from school. Seeking to reform the whole system of support for families with multiple and complex problems, the Government has pledged £448m across three years to enable local authorities to bring together adult and children’s services to form an integrated, intensive and holistic ‘whole family’ approach that tackles the root causes of troubled families.
This special symposium offers an invaluable opportunity for family and parenting practitioners, social services, the health sector, police service and schools to examine the Government’s vision for families, consider how to ensure families are at the heart of public services and explore how turn around the lives of troubled households.
|09:30||Registration and Morning Refreshments|
|10:15||Chair’s Welcome and Introduction|
Panel Session One:
The Future of Family Policy – Placing Families at the Heart of Public Services
|11:15||Morning Coffee Break|
|11:30||Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel One|
Panel Session Two:
Outreach and Intervention – Supporting Strong and Stable Parenting, Turning Around Troubled Households
|14:15||Afternoon Coffee Break|
|14:30||Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel Two|
|15:30||Chair’s Summary and Closing Comments|
Both local and central government recognise this programme could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to shift the sense of hopelessness that is often felt about these families … If we work together and get this right, it's also a chance to make a cultural shift in the way services are delivered by professionals … But most importantly this programme is a way to give the kids in these households a chance not to repeat the pattern of unemployment, lawlessness and failure of their parents and often grandparents.
— Head of Troubled Families Policy, March 2012
“Today's announcement reinforces the welcome commitment to support the most vulnerable families who face a whole host of challenges in their lives … Key to this is partnership working between local authorities and the voluntary sector, to create tailored solutions that tackle the root causes of issues within families and help them to develop the skills and confidence they need to make positive changes to their own lives.”
— Dame Claire Tickell, March 2012
“… the way in which parents interact with their children in the very early stages of life can overcome many of the other factors associated with disadvantage… Supporting parents to do a good job is critical if the Government is serious about accessing the potential that all children have … There’s also significant, on-going work to improve the quality of the early years offer. But we need to do more if we want to support parents.”
— Minister for Children and Families, October 2011