Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Marriage and parenting programmes - CRFR contributes to Scottish parliament preventative spending inquiry

The Scottish Parliament's Finance Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into preventative spending. During the evidence session last week the merits of parenting programmes and how family structure influences outcomes for children were discussed. CRFR submitted the following evidence to the committee to help them with their deliberations.

"I would like to bring some relevant research to the attention of the Finance Committee in relation to evidence given on 9 Nov to the the Inquiry into Preventative Spending. George Hosking gave evidence about the outcomes for children from different types of families. Our research paints a vastly different picture for families and children in Scotland.

  1. Our research shows that many factors contribute to children's well being. For example, mother's mental health and repeated changes in living arrangements are much more likely to have a detrimental effect on children than the structure of the family. For those on lower incomes, the neighbourhood, employment, support services and absence of debt help ensure good outcomes for children.
  2. The evidence shows that getting on well together is most important. The quality of family relationships is a more fundamental aspect of children and young people's well being than change, family structure or even quantity of time spent together.
  3. We know that it is important to support families who need help. Parenting programmes may work for some families, in some situations, some of the time. Parenting programmes only provides one type of support whereas what families need is a range of services provided in their communities. Living in child friendly communities and having a reasonable level of resources are also very important to outcomes for children.
Please see the short booklet 'Why Relationships Matter: reserach evidence form CRFR with further details about these issues and the research on which this is based. Please feel free to contact us for further information and/or discussion."

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