“Training, volunteering and tax credits all help parents access work, though not all parents progress into work or escape poverty. Work is definitely the surest escape from poverty.”
“Parents are almost without exception hopeful and ambitious for their children, yet accept the limitations and problems of local schools. They are generally satisfied with their schools, particularly primary, and express praise and admiration for teachers, who offer many different kinds of support. A holistic approach to children works best.”
“The parents’ limited education restricts how much help they can offer their children.”
“Truanting and bullying are both problems and bullying in particular seems pervasive, damaging and not always easy to control.”
“Three kinds of support emerge as particularly helpful to parents:
-Family, close friends and childminders not only share parents’ troubles but also help with taking on a job. The threats from crime and insecurity are countered through this ‘bonding’ form of social capital.
-Child-centred services such as Sure Start for pre-school children and parents in deprived areas and schools are a main stay of educational and social opportunity.
-Crime prevention through frequent, visible patrols and friendly contact with children and young people at risk of offending create a more positive, confident and less fearful atmosphere.”
“Social capital, an invaluable asset in a resource-scarce community, not only grows from local programmes and local social links (bonding); it also directly fosters work opportunities by encouraging parents to access training, volunteering and actual jobs (bridging).”
“On-going, long-term daily support is necessary if parents and children are to flourish in spite of serious handicaps.”
The report goes on to make five recommendations: streamlining policies rather than cumbersome bureaucracy, tailoring to demographic issues especially integrating different cultural groups in schools, early intervention especially with special educational needs, involving parents and responding to their issues to enhance social capital, and housing families near to their relatives to encourage social networking support.