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Parenting courses pale imitation of Don Brash plan

Judith Collins MP National Party Families Spokeswoman

18 May 2005

Parenting courses pale imitation of Don Brash plan

Parenting courses unveiled by Labour as pre-Budget propaganda are little more than a "pale imitation of the plan announced by Don Brash earlier this year," says National Party Families spokeswoman Judith Collins.

"Frankly, $1.5 million a year, under Labour's reckless spending regime, won't go far. Given Dr Brash's earlier announcement, this is further evidence that Labour has run out of ideas," says Ms Collins.

In March, Dr Brash delivered a speech in which he flagged broad parenting courses for troubled families. It reads:

"National will grant the Youth Court power to issue new parenting orders. It's an initiative that's already been taken in the United Kingdom, where it's producing highly promising results. Under parenting orders, parents whose children have been involved in offending, anti-social behaviour or truancy are required to attend regular counselling and guidance sessions on parenting skills in courses lasting up to three months.

The Court may add other requirements lasting for up to 12 months, including curfews, controls over association with others, and school attendance. Non-compliance with the orders leads to a review meeting, a written warning, and then to a $2,500 fine or community work. 3,000 parents participated in a trial of these orders in the UK.

Two-thirds participated on a voluntary basis. The parenting order is designed to offer support to parents whose children have got involved with crime. It is not a punishment but a positive development consistent with parental responsibility, helping parents build their skills to better deal with challenging teenage behaviour.

In fact, in the trial it was found that 90% of participants would recommend the programme to other parents. Re-offending by children of parents subject to parenting orders in Britain has dropped 50%." - National Leader Don Brash, March 21.

ENDS

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