Prisons better than schools at teaching about parenthood

20th February 2016 at 12:01
Schools are failing to teach young people about the pitfalls and responsibilities of parenthood, and could learn a lot from prisons on how to tackle the subject, experts in Scotland have said.

Young inmates with children have said that when they received sex and relationships education in school, it never addressed what becoming a parent would actually mean for them.

But in young offenders’ institutions, the subject is being dealt with well, according to new submissions to a Scottish government consultation on its upcoming Parenthood and Pregnancy in Young People Strategy.

The responses to the consultation reveal that some young fathers in prison said that they had not received any sex education at school.

And young men entering young offenders’ institutions tend to believe that the responsibility for both contraception and childcare lie with women, according to Families Outside, a charity which works with families affected by imprisonment.

But prison provides a “teachable moment” that is ideal to talk to young people about parenthood, writes the charity’s chief executive, Professor Nancy Loucks.

This is an edited article from the 19 February edition of TESS. Subscribers can read the full article here. This week's TESS magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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