The Andrews Labor Government is extending a program for parenting support services to parents and carers in rural and regional areas who might be missing out due to their working hours or location.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos today announced a new state-wide trial of a phone and online parenting support service targeting grandparents, fathers and rural families.
The trial will see parenting education and support delivered by weekly telephone calls with the same trained family counsellor, supported by online materials.
This model has been proven to have practical benefits to families, including reducing levels of stress and anxiety in parents and carers, increasing parental satisfaction, and promoting positive behaviour in children.
Evidence-based parenting support services help parents and carers develop the skills needed to deal with challenging behaviours and significantly improve outcomes for children.
However, because conventional services don’t operate after hours or in rural or regional areas, not everyone can get the help they need when they need it.
Grandparents caring full-time for their grandchildren may be dealing with unfamiliar parenting situations but may not wish to attend a parenting group with much younger first-time parents.
Funded by the Labor Government and run by Gateway Health, the trial program builds on the highly successful parenting program that Gateway Health is currently delivering in the Wodonga and Wangaratta areas.
The service will be available from September, and the trial will run for the next 12 months.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“The Andrews Labor Government is making Victoria the Education State – focusing on children’s wellbeing and learning from birth. Parents are fundamental partners achieving our vision to become the Education State.”
“We know parenting skills are often learnt ‘on the job’ – so providing access to high-quality, evidence-based parenting education and support can go a long way in helping families.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes
“This trial program is designed to enable parents and carers who may have difficulty accessing parenting support and education – especially those in regional Victoria – to more easily access the services they need.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020