Rhonda Parker

Rhonda Parker


    Independent report on parent support services released

    2/12/1999 1:09 PM

    An independent report released today is a strong endorsement of the Coalition Government’s emphasis on early intervention and parent support services in addition to the crisis support provided by the Department for Family and Children’s Services.

    Family and Children’s Services Minister Rhonda Parker released the report Parenting - the Next Generation, at the launch of a new Parenting Information Centre at Cannington’s Westfield Carousel Shopping Centre.

    The report, by the TVW Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, found the Government’s Parenting Information Centres were ‘visionary and at the world cutting edge of prevention science’.

    The report also evaluated other services for parents provided through the Department for Family and Children’s Services.

    Mrs Parker said she was pleased by the institute’s very positive evaluation of Family and Children’s Services parenting services and its finding that the department was consistent with world-wide trends in family policy and development.

    “The report, based on a review of research, also shows that positive and encouraging parenting styles achieve better results,” she said.

    “The family is the primary influence on a child and a healthy family life is critical to the well being of children and the broader community.

    “Since 1995, the State Government has consistently increased its commitment to services and programs which support parents and families before problems begin.”

    Early intervention programs include Parenting Information Centres, Parent Link services for parents in their own homes, and Best Start programs for Aboriginal families with young children.

    "Being a parent is becoming more complex in our fast-changing world and parents take on one of the most important responsibilities of their lives when they decide to raise a family," she said.

    “These services have been developed in response to research which found that parents view their parental responsibilities as sometimes daunting, challenging, demanding as well as rewarding.

    “When asked what would improve the upbringing of their children, a third of all parents nominated changes in their own behaviour as most important.

    “The research also found that new parents felt unprepared for assuming the responsibilities of being a parent.

    “The emphasis of the positive parenting services provided through Family and Children’s Services is for parents to further develop their skills by providing information and resources about caring for babies, children and adolescents.

    “This year the Government has allocated nearly $13 million for preventive programs and promotion in the area.

    “This evaluation report is tangible evidence to support such an investment.”

    The Minister also unveiled a new series of advertisements called ‘Making life easier for mums and dads’ which are aimed at parents who may be hesitant to seek support.

    “Getting information to increase our parenting techniques is a chance to enrich and develop our skills and, indeed, make life easier,” she said.

    Parenting Information Centres are also located in shopping centres at Joondalup, Midland, Mirrabooka, Rockingham as well as Albany, Broome, Bunbury, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Mandurah, Northam and South Hedland, in addition to six mobile services.

    Media contact: Owen Cole 9481 7810