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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

Parental training recommended for first time parents

The National Summit on Families has recommended that first time parents receive parental training as part of supporting families in the country.

The summit, hosted on the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family, is convened by the National Department of Social Development to reverse the perceived disintegration of the family – an essential building block for a well-functioning society.

The three-day summit, which started on Wednesday in Kempton Park, is held under the theme ‘Building stronger families to promote healthy family life and fight poverty’. 

Presenting the department’s position on the state of families in South Africa, Chief Director for Families at Social Development, Siza Magangoe, painted a picture of families still struggling with poverty, inequality and lacking support.

“The South African family is led by vulnerable groups – women, children and youth, people with disabilities and older persons... and women are the primary care-givers who do not have access to economic opportunities,” Magangoe said.

In 2013, Cabinet approved the White Paper on Families, which provides a policy framework on how South African families should be supported in order to flourish and function optimally.

The department is already involved in programmes aimed at promoting the three strategic priorities identified in the White Paper.

The strategic priorities include healthy family life (promoting positive values, gender equality, father involvement and responsible parenting), family strengthening (enhancing family resilience, social security, access to economic opportunities) and family preservation (prevention of family breakdown and early intervention interventions targeting groups at risk).

Social Development Minister recently addressed the 29th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the follow-up to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development on sustainable population development and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in South Africa and the continent.

The Minister is expected to continue exploring these themes at the summit, especially as they relate to the strengthening of the family in the country.

Parental training recommended for first time parents