National Family Support services

Ending Physical Punishment – Parenting Support

As of the 21st March 2022 physically punishing children in Wales is Illegal, to help protect children and their rights, to give them the best start in life. Anyone who physically punishes a child will be breaking the law.

There are lots of types of physical punishment. It can mean smacking, hitting, slapping and shaking. But there are other types too. It isn’t possible to give a set list of what makes up physical punishment because it can be anything where a child is punished using physical force. Research suggests that any type of physical punishment could be harmful to children.

The change in law is not intended to prevent parents from disciplining their children. However, if an individual physically punishes a child in their care they could be charged with common assault. They may get a criminal record which is the same for any criminal offence.

Across Wales advice and support will be available to encourage people to stop using physical punishment and find positive ways to manage children’s behaviour.

In line with current legislation, individuals who are required to access bespoke parenting support as a result of an Out of Court Disposal will be contacted by the parenting support worker to discuss their individual needs and create a tailored package of support.

Pembrokeshire has a range of services available to support parents to develop their resilience and positive parenting. These are delivered face to face and online, and includes 1:1 support, groups, workshops, and advice and information services.

For further details on Pembrokeshire’s family support offer visit: Children, Young People and Families 

Parenting. Give it time. | GOV.WALES (opens in a new tab)

It provides helpful tips and advice to parents on how to encourage positive behaviour. It’s about showing how offering children encouragement and praise can be more effective than punishments when they misbehave.

National Family Support Services - Pembrokeshire County Council

National Parenting Support - Pembrokeshire County Council


Phone: 01437 776228

ID: 8928, revised 02/10/2023