Rudolph Samuels

Development of National Positive Parenting Support Program Underway St Maarten

Development of National Positive Parenting Support Program Underway St Maarten

-All Relevant Stakeholders Encouraged to Participate in the Process

The honorable Minister of Education, Culture, Youth & Sport, Mr. Rodolphe Samuel, announced the start of the development of a National Positive Parenting Support Program by the Department of Youth, during last Wednesday’s weekly Council of Ministers Press Briefing.

The Minister explained that the Department of Youth in collaboration with UNICEF the Netherlands, kicked off its stakeholder introductory meeting on March 22nd, for the development of the islands first National Parenting Program themed “Positive Parenting Support Program”. With the aim to provide support to parents and other primary care givers by improving key factors needed to foster a healthy family environment and support structure, the department anticipates as outcome that family communication, family bonds and trust between parents, caregivers and children will be strengthened by building existing skills and creating culturally appropriate approaches, for parents to support children through all critical stages of their development.

The program will be developed by the Caribbean Child Development Center in partnership with the University of the West Indies. The Consultant’s team has already commenced with the project and are at the stage of carrying out literature reviews on existing (and past) parenting programs that are being used on our island. It is therefore imperative that every program and/or report be included in said review.

“As the success of developing such a program, highly depends on the contribution from among others: Governmental and non-governmental stakeholders including Afterschool Programs/ Safety Net Programs, school counselors, early childhood caregivers, family members who also offer care to children and most importantly, the youth” the Minister encouraged all relevant persons to share their information and participate in the survey which will soon be forthcoming.

Once the program has been developed and presented to the stakeholders, training for Facilitators and Master Trainers will be organized. More information will be shared via the Department of Youth as the project unfolds

Further information on this project can be obtained by contacting the Department of Youth by sending an email to deptofyouth@sintmaartengov.org.

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