Making Parenting Skills a National Priority

Our nation’s child welfare system seeks ways to reduce incidences of child abuse and neglect. One of the many challenges facing the child welfare system is the number of children entering foster care, kinship care, group homes and residential facilities. There are not enough families available to foster and often kinship care is not an option as extended family is not capable. The opioid crisis places additional burdens on the system. We are also finding there are not enough medical providers for all of the mental health issues children face. Family courts and the GAL system are just as stressed.

As our nation struggles with issues like crime, imprisonment, mental health, domestic violence, poverty, homelessness and addiction we must ask ourselves, what is the root cause of these issues? We will find family health.

How do we improve the health of our families? Educate our youth on the stresses and tremendous responsibility that come along with parenting. Parents are the family leaders. Educated parents lead healthier families. Healthier families lead to healthier communities, cities, states and nation.

COPE24 is emphasizing the need to make parenting and child development education secondary only to the core subjects in our high school system. As our nation continues to face a national health crisis, the breakdown of the family, we must seek a proactive response. Making the families of tomorrow stronger ensures the safety of childhood. To make families stronger, we must ask our school systems to reprioritize the educational needs of the students.

Our nation’s educational system has been ever evolving to meet the needs of our citizens. Now our nation needs healthier parents. Currently, most high schools offer elective Family Consumer Science (FACS) classes which include parenting and child development courses. Where offered about 10% of the student population takes these elective classes. Since over 80% of youth will become parents, we must address the educational gap. COPE24 is working to fill that gap. While all elective courses offer students the opportunity to expand their horizons, how many can boast a life skill that more than 80% will utilize every day for more than two decades? The need is clear now we need the will to make the necessary changes for the sake of our children.

Teaching the kids of today to be the parents of tomorrow.