Parental engagement in comprehensive relationships and sex education supports families in their primary role as educators while developing children and young people’s education.
Research suggests that the vast majority of children, young people and parents want comprehensive relationships and sex education to start and to develop at home. However, many families struggle to realise parental responsibility because of inherent challenges rooted in previous experiences. Several obstacles such as lack of comfort, knowledge, language and skills in communicating effectively around the topic of sexuality mean that parents often expect schools to take responsibility for teaching the subject. In addition, a small minority of parents exercise their right to withdraw their child from learning at school because of cultural or faith-based reasons. Effective parental engagement opportunities provide a mechanism for consulting parents and consider their diverse cultural and religious backgrounds while supporting their parental role. When parents are empowered to become proactive educators in relationships and sex education, they can support their child in building a safe and shared language to talk about bodies, relationships, sexuality and sexual health. This is key to enabling children and young people to discuss their concerns and make good choices as they become more independent.
Events inform, equip and empower parents in a variety of topics relating to children and young people growing up. The emphasis is always on presenting evidence-based information, create a shared and safe learning platform, and agreeing on a common values framework while acknowledging the context of family beliefs and values.