Families are so important to children they’re at the heart of all of Barnardos’ work. While our focus is very firmly on children’s rights and needs we believe in the centrality of the family in their lives. That’s why many of Barnardos’ services are broadly described as family support services. We’re convinced of the importance of helping families to stay together and to deal with the causes of any difficulties they may be experiencing. Research and experience tell us how important it is for children to get a really good start in life so we place a heavy emphasis on proven, quality programmes for children. We involve parents as much as possible to strengthen the impact of this work as well as offering specific supports to the parents themselves. All families need support at some stage, but some need more intensive intervention, perhaps for longer periods. We were very pleased to have actively participated in the UN International Year of the Family in 1994. Now, ten years on, we are continuing to promote the importance of family in children’s lives. And while we can celebrate much progress in the past ten years, we are all too conscious
that the struggles of many families continue. National policies can have a major impact on the lives of children and families so Barnardos sees this as a vital area of our advocacy programme. We are determined to do everything we can, both in our services and our advocacy, to continue to strengthen families and enhance policies and provision, in the interests of children and young people.
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