The Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) III is seeking to tackle antisocial behaviour that can lead to criminal activity, through a Parenting Education Programme now under way.
The initiative aims to modify the behaviour of parents who practise coercive styles of discipline, which research has shown can result in the development of conduct disorder in children.
Implementation of the Parenting Education Programme commenced in mid-November and is being administered at the community level through in-home training sessions, parent support groups and workshops.
CSJP III Regional Case Management Coordinator, Central Region, Alva Marie Graham, said the parenting initiative “fits squarely into the CSJP in a practical, meaningful way because the clients that we treat with are from vulnerable communities, and we know there is a correlation between the type of parenting and the outcomes in the children”.
She argued that if conflicts in the homes are not intentionally addressed through intervention, they can be perpetuated in the school and community, with youngsters transferring acts of coercion or violence to others.
Ms. Graham, who was speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, said it is important that the intervention is done early in the parent-child relationship to allow parents to adjust their approach before there is lasting impact.
“When you try to address the coercive problem early and provide parents with the tools and information to make the change, then they can adjust their parenting style. They can adjust how they relate to their children and they can better understand the parent-child relationship and how the inputs that they give and provide will help to determine the outcome of these children,” she added.
One hundred parents are currently engaged in the intervention, which has a target of 600 in the first phase.
A total of 112 Community Parent Trainers across the Kingston and St. Andrew Central and Western regions have been equipped in effective parenting methodologies to administer sessions with selected parents.