‘Super Nannies’ To Help Parents

More than 70 “super nannies” are to try to improve parenting in areas with high levels of anti-social behaviour, Tony Blair is expected to announce. The prime minister is expected to announce £4m for parenting experts in 77 areas of the country.

{mosimage}Mr Blair will warn that poor parenting is bad for society and is also catastrophic for children. This comes after a Mori poll suggested 53% of people think poor parenting is the main cause of bad behaviour.

In the poll for the Home Office, 85% of respondents blamed parents for allowing children to become out of control. The child psychologists will be funded by the prime minister’s Respect Task Force to work in deprived areas.

They will advise new parents and intervene when children get into trouble.

The government’s Respect co-ordinator Louise Casey said evidence showed that parenting courses worked “incredibly well” in helping parents feel much more confident about dealing with the behaviour of their children.

“We’ve got to do everything we can to make sure we’re tackling both anti-social behaviour of today but preventing a new generation growing up with signs of anti-social behaviour in the future,” she told BBC News. “For me this is a really positive good day. Four million pounds is not a small amount of money, it’ll make a huge difference to 77 areas of the country.”

The Home Office is also to provide more money for existing parenting courses. Parents can volunteer for the courses, but many are forced to participate when their children break the law or refuse to attend school.

A survey for the Institute for Public Policy Research has already suggested that the UK’s youths are the worst behaved in Europe. On every indicator of bad behaviour – drugs, drink, violence, promiscuity – the UK was at or near the top of the league, according to the survey earlier this month.

Another piece of research by the organisation found British adults were becoming fearful of young people.

Clare Tickell, chief executive of children’s charity NCH, said the latest initiative was “good news” but that more could be done. “This is a start and I think credit should be given for the fact that they’re making a start,” she said. “Some of the parents we work with haven’t had fantastic experiences with their own parents, and sometimes that goes back three, four, five sometimes even six generations. So actually they need some really basic skills and confidence and help to work out how to do it properly. A little help at a particularly difficult time for parents can be hugely effective.”