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Family Education at the Time of Parenting Skills

Marie-Christine Saint-Jacques, Daniel Turcotte, Nathalie Oubrayrie-Roussel

This article is intended to introduce the present special edition dealing with family education, a form of intervention motivated by the principle that in order to ensure children’s welfare, one needs to assist parents in developing their own skills, or in other words to provide them with active societal supporters. After a brief reminder of the origins of this strategy, its field of action is exemplified, introducing us to the wide range of players, areas and domains involved. An analysis of the articles published in this edition brings out the importance attached to the development of parental skills and the players’ representational role (i.e. the parents’ intervention). Various issues are also raised, such as the efficiency of family education programs and their contributory basics, for example the training of the societal supporters, their introduction within organizational contexts that allow for real work with the parents, and the application of such programs within a context that is not too restrictive. An examination of the efficiency of family education programs indicates that family vulnerability is not linked solely to socio-economic insecurity, but also to developments in family structures themselves and the weakening of social ties.