Raising children is one of the hardest jobs facing adults in our society and one for which there is least preparation. Moreover, several aspects of the job of parenting have become more difficult in recent years. Much has been learned about the risk and protective factors associated with different developmental outcomes for children and the important role parents can play in promoting children’s social, emotional and academic capacity and competence. Our current understanding is that many parents are not well prepared to do their best for their children.
In this chapter we consider factors that can make parenting more challenging and describe the growing number of interventions, in statutory and voluntary services, that have been developed to support parents and children within their own communities.