Parents, parenting and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Findings from an Evaluation of the Early Intervention Support Service in Northern Ireland

Karen Winter, Laura Neeson, Daryl Sweet, Paul Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The provision of support services to families is a legal obligation and fundamental in the recognition of the role and responsibilities of parents, as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (UN, 1989). Through the lens of its obligations (UN, 1989), this article reports the findings of a study that explores parental experiences of a newly designed non-statutory family support service in Northern Ireland. Known as the Early Intervention Support Service (EISS), the service aims to deliver a targeted, flexible and time limited service to families to strengthen parenting capacity and to help prevent deterioration in emergent problems. Illustrated by findings from the study, this article argues that in its design and delivery, the EISS, premised on a multi-faceted understanding of support, represents a model that respects parents’ responsibilities, rights and duties through its attention to parental engagement at all stages in the design, delivery and evaluation of the service. Using its provisions as an indicator to track parental engagement and parental experience of the services, it is argued that the principles of the Convention should underpin the design, delivery and evaluation of family support services more broadly and more explicitly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • UNCRC
  • parents and parenting

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