I was pleased to rise today with a positive message about parenting. A very special community-based program of Justice and Public Safety has expanded into Island schools.
Positive Parenting From Two Homes “For Kids!” supports children impacted by separation, divorce, or parenting from two homes.
It complements the Positive Parenting From Two Homes program currently offered to adults throughout our One Island Community.
This highly rated program brings children experiencing similar situations together in friendship. They share and speak openly in a supported environment about very sensitive, mature subject matter… at an age-appropriate level.
Together they explore the definition of family; changes that separation and divorce bring to a family; and how these changes affect children.
They address concerns about how separation and divorce will impact their future.
They discuss appropriate and inappropriate interaction between parents and children, and they learn helpful communication skills.
Perhaps, most importantly Madame Speaker, they learn that they are not alone in their feelings and that what is happening between their parents is not their fault.
Madame Speaker, there is no other program like this in the country where trained facilitators are partnering with school guidance counselors to offer age-appropriate information to children in a confidential, supportive school environment during a confusing, often stressful time in their personal life. At the end of the five one-hour sessions, guidance counselors are still available to provide helpful follow-up support to the students.
By bringing this valuable program to schools,it is more accessible reaching more than double the number of youth;
children have a supportive community when they really need it, and that support is there for them throughout the school year.
Because of a partnership with Children’s Mental Health Network and funding through the Children’s Secretariat, we now deliver an additional eleven programs to fourteen different schools. We will, as well, be expanding to include children at grades 1-3 and intermediate school levels.
I am proud of the tremendous partnership of my two departments but I am especially proud of how that partnership is supporting the children, youth and families of our One Island Community.