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Snippet Contents:

There is a huge range of parenting programmes that are in very big demand around the country. Significant numbers of Irish parents are availing of supports out there be they through family resource centres, local voluntary groups or counselling services. We have research about what models of intervention work and that research is coming on stream more and more. For example, we know that public health nurses are doing really effective work with young, lone parents in supporting their parenting and that those interventions have really worked. Public health nurses throughout the country are a significant resource. That is one aspect of the work that is being done.
The new area-based approach to child poverty gives us an opportunity to build in supports for the most vulnerable families about which Deputy Ó Caoláin spoke. Certainly building in parenting programmes to that work and area-based poverty initiatives will be very important. There is a significant range of work ongoing. It is important to say again that for the vast majority of Irish children, Irish childhood and parenting have changed beyond recognition in terms of greater sensitivity to the needs of children, listening to the views of children and putting the best interests of the child at the centre of considerations. That is the reality for most Irish children. We have identified more vulnerable children in the State of the Nation's Children reports. They can be immigrant children, Traveller children and children exposed to poverty. For those children, these kinds of extra supports to parents can make all the difference to the quality of their lives. I agree with Deputy Troy that we need to examine the various programmes to ensure we are supplying the kind of programmes that we know are effective and work well. The Triple P programme is one example. In other countries, they have taken a range of these programmes and decided that certain programmes will get Government support and we should do the same here. They would be the ones that have proved to be effective in supporting parents.