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3.11 Statement on Positive Parenting

In order to further the achievement of its objectives the Leicester City and the Leicestershire & Rutland Local Safeguarding Children Boards and member organisations have agreed a "positive parenting" statement to be followed by staff when providing guidance and training.

In the Children Act 2004 the defence of reasonable chastisement was largely removed, so that it can no longer be used in situations where an assault on a child causes actual bodily harm. The legislation avoided what some would regard as an inappropriate interference by the State into private family life, by outlawing abusive punishment without also criminalising parental discipline.

Positive parenting recognises the legal rights and responsibilities of parents alongside the rights of children to be protected from abuse (enshrined in Article 19 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child) and the associated statutory responsibilities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

The overall position in relation to the conduct of employees when working directly with children is clear and covered by existing procedure and protocols. This statement relates to the broader role undertaken by the agents of the LSCB when providing advice and guidance on parenting.

"Agents of an LSCB member organisation, when working directly with children and families will adopt a professional stance of 'Positive Parenting".

Positive Parenting involves advising parents to:

  • Set limits and boundaries for children and stick to them;
  • Reinforce good behaviour by praising and encouraging their child;
  • Create and maintain set routines for the child;
  • Try to ignore bad behaviour where appropriate;
  • Use alternative methods of chastisement where bad behaviour needs to be addressed (for example, using time -out sessions or removing toys);
  • Discourage the use of physical punishment.

Positive Parenting is based on a balance between the development of parenting capacity and judgement about care and control and the protection of children from undue or harsh punishment.