Parenting support in Europe
The influence of parenting on the well-being and future opportunities of children is widely acknowledged, but it is only recently that parenting support and education have come to be viewed as a social investment that contributes towards reducing parental stress and helping parents to manage their work–life balance. European Member States provide support for parenting in many different ways, from very practical medical-based interventions such as support with breastfeeding, to programmes that aim to increase the confidence and self-esteem of parents and thus improve their relationship with their children. This report gives an up-to-date overview of the main elements of parenting support services and the structure of services across Europe. It includes more detailed information about parenting support in seven Member States: Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal and Sweden. The report summarises common challenges faced by all providers of parenting support, and concludes with policy recommendations based on what has been observed to work in different countries.