Parenting efficacy: how can service providers help?

Family services Parenting and guardianship Australia

Local community supports and resources, such as community-based parenting services, play an important role in building parenting efficacy and should be accessible for all parents.

Local councils could provide information about these services through newsletters and advertisements.

Interventions that focus on helping parents have better financial capacity and help in relieving financial pressures for them are also important. For instance, current policies such as paid maternity leave and family tax benefits should help parents cope with decreased income when they need to reduce working hours to perform parenting tasks.

An important part of support interventions can involve assisting parents to develop new relationships with people in their social networks and to help them enlarge their social networks by making new friends. For example, local community activities such as "street parties" or activities at neighbourhood houses can be encouraged as parents are often able to meet other parents who can help them to make friends and enlarge their social networks.

Strengthening parents' partnerships is an effective aspect of parenting efficacy, and interventions could increase marital support through developing co-parenting awareness and skills to better support each other. For example, postnatal parenting support groups, parenting workshops and telephone helplines could be beneficial to parents.

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