Early Intervention and Prevention in Family and Parenting Support - Compendium

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Eurochild’s thematic working group on family and parenting support provides a forum for members to exchange experience and know-how, thereby contributing to improved policy and practice across Europe. This compendium of inspiring practice of early intervention and prevention in family and parenting support builds on five years of mutual learning and exchange. At the time of publication family and children’s services across Europe are under threat of public spending cuts by national and local governments. We firmly believe that family and parenting support is not a luxury for times of plenty. Investment in all families, complemented by targeted support for the most vulnerable families at risk of exclusion, is a fundamental building block of cohesive societies. Interventions such as parent support, education, training, strengthening family networks, peer support, etc. can help build parents’ self-esteem and skills, improve parents’ long-term employability, and enhance children’s well-being and development. The idea of prevention and early intervention is to support parents and families before problems arise. Only in this way can we avoid huge long-term costs associated with family breakdown, poor mental health and social exclusion. However, at a time when resources are limited, Eurochild acknowledges that services and interventions need to demonstrate their effectiveness in addressing social challenges. There is a need to constantly adapt to new social demands, as well as to develop innovative solutions to long-standing problems. The 12 case studies in this Compendium offer a small sample of services that have had a demonstrable positive impact on the children and families they aim to serve. They were selected firstly, because they reflect a response to an identified need, social challenge, economic and/ or political imperative that was innovative in the context of prevailing national/ regional/ local circumstances. Secondly, because of their potential to use the learning or to replicate the practice more widely within their country or across Europe.

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