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Snippet Contents:

I will be very brief. When Barack Obama, who is arguably the most powerful man in the world, was re-elected to the White House, he sent out a tweet about how the most difficult and rewarding job of all was being a father. When one looks at it in that context, it is very important that we put in the necessary supports to support people who are doing the most difficult and rewarding job of all, namely, parenting.
I welcome the fact that the Minister has acknowledged that when the new child and family support agency comes on stream, there will be an evidence-based approach in terms of putting in structures to support parenting. In my constituency of Longford-Westmeath, one finds Triple P - the Positive Parenting Programme, which is a very positive development of which the Minister is aware. That programme is being expanded to Laois and Offaly in the coming year. There are schemes out there but we want to ensure the best schemes and a more uniform approach are used because at the moment, a more diverse approach is used depending on what part of the country one lives in. The new child and family support agency should be charged with ensuring that we have the best possible scheme in place to support our parents who are doing the most difficult and rewarding job of all.