The Government has invested more than $300,000 into raising the skills of parents in the MidCentral District Health Board region.
MidCentral is one of four areas in the country being given funding to pilot an internationally-acclaimed parenting course – the Triple P Positive Parenting Programme. A spokesman for Health Minister Tony Ryall said $330,000 was to be pumped into MidCentral region over the next two years to run the programme.
Palmerston North family support service Across has been awarded the contract to co-ordinate the programme, which takes parents through practical caregiving strategies for children mainly aged three to eight. Across director Graeme Munford said 18 MidCentral DHB staff had already been trained to provide Triple P support in the region, with another 60 people to be pushed through the qualification by the end of the year.
“This is a great investment in our region,” Mr Munford said. “One of our first goals is to break down any barriers to seeking parenting support and encourage parents to get support without feeling they will be judged.”
The programme was developed by University of Queensland psychologist Professor Matt Saunders, after more than 30 years of research. Studies are ongoing, but more than 150 international trials have shown good results across cultures, socioeconomic groups and different family structures. Mr Munford said it was an exciting investment in the region, and would prove invaluable to fam-ilies.
“We want to provide parenting support for all families by working together with parents to support children in a way that will lead to better outcomes for families in both the short and longer term,” Mr Munford said.
MidCentral was pleased to be included as a trial site for the programme, said Claudine Nepia-Tule, portfolio manager for mental health and addictions. “There has been a significant investment by the Government in the rollout of the Drivers of Crime initiative, which includes this programme targeted towards children and their parents.
“The programme is part of a multi-level approach and involves making parent support programmes available through both primary care and specialist settings. “The Positive Parenting Programme is various interventions and suitable for delivery in a range of settings, such as GP consultations or Well Child home visits,” she said.