F. Ródenas, J. Garcés, C. García, A. Doñate-Martínez

University of Valencia, Polibienestar Research Institute (SPAIN)
The care provided to chronic patients at home requires an adequate connection of health and social resources that support to informal caregivers, most of them women. Nevertheless, the informal care scene is changing, especially in countries as United Kingdom, and it is increasingly the fact that younger people participate in this kind of long-term care to dependent relatives. So, in this context, educative processes and methods can be seen affected negatively. In this sense, it is necessary, together with the improvement of continuity care, focusing resources and services in other issues as the quality of parenting skills, behaviours and attitudes are fundamental to the wellbeing of children’s social, emotional, physical and psychological development. Nevertheless, in general parents do not receive any special training to acquire this kind of knowledge and to receive support in their role as educators.

Through a transnational project funded by the European Commission within the III Daphne Program – “BE Supportive, NOT violent! Positive parenting for happy children!” – a new Model of Positive Parenting has been developed and implemented by professionals from different European countries aimed to provide and reinforce parents knowledge, resources and tools to achieve a positive education, relationship and communication with their children based on Positive Discipline principles. Hence, through emphasizing this kind of education, parents can acquire and put into practice an attitude and behavioural patterns that facilitates several aspects, for instance: a) a good communication with their children; b) an understanding of children’s requirements; c) problem resolution abilities based on negotiation and agreements accepted both by parents and children, etc. This skills are necessary to cope situations with stress related to long-term care at home, as it decreases the negative consequences into minors’ education.

The methodology employed was through organizing 12 workshops with parents of 6-14 years’ children. The application of the model have taken place following a cross-national methodology, implementing the training in six European countries in parallel – Italy, Latvia, Poland Romania, Spain and Sweden. In some of these countries several research teams are developing projects aimed to improve the connection between social and health care systems, as ‘INTERLINKS’ at European level and ‘Continuitycare’ in Spain.

The first application of the education model took place in a total sample around of 70 parents with positive results. Thanks to the remarks and evaluations from trainers and parents that participated in, the model was improved. The second implementation has already finished and its results will be available in the following weeks.

This kind of initiatives aimed to train parents in positive parenting skills makes possible that parents gain and reinforce relevant resources to improve their relationship with their children, share experiences with other parents, as well as to avoid the use of violent methods to raise children at home. This model can be very useful at homes where young people are taking on part of care of relatives that require long-term care. So, the training provided by this model can help to counteract the negative effects caused by stress and difficult situations at home.