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New online advice for families

Date:11 MAR 2008

On Saturday, Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Young People and Families announced the detail of a Government parenting programme to help parents get extra help with issues such as bullying, school exclusions and dealing with the impact of divorce.

The Parent Know-How programme worth £44million is designed so that more parents can get access to information and help through the web, over the phone, by text message and instant messaging.

Ed Balls also announced that separated dads are to get a new online community space to help them stay in touch with their children, including online games, picture sharing and hints on how to make the most of their relationship with their children.

The initiative comes on the back of research showing that parents prefer to receive information online, with 63% of fathers saying it was their favourite way to get help and support.

Other projects to receive funding include a 'virtual school gate' for parents of older children a place to spend time and get help from other parents.

Ed Balls said:
"While there are more opportunities for families and children now than ever before, parents say they sometimes find it hard to cope with a rapidly changing world. Government doesn't bring up children, parents do, but I want to do as much as I can to back parents and families and strengthen the support for all families."

Fathers will now be able to get quick parenting answers by text messages and talk to other dads online for help and support, thanks to two projects provided by Relate and Family Matters Institute. Parents will continue to get support from telephone helplines, which the Department will fund for three years.