Special neighbours and parenting outreach programs
This program offers home visiting service to parents, in particular young or inexperienced parents, who are under stress. Such families are usually experiencing social and economic difficulties such as living in poverty, social isolation, domestic violence or chronic mental and physical health problems.
With a focus on early intervention, ante-natal and post-natal care, family workers are linked with families and visit for periods of up to five hours a week, offering support, advice, referral to other services, advocacy and access to other resources.
Workers help parents to improve how they handle stressful situations and offer emotional support and practical assistance. This takes the form of helping to establish and maintain children’s routines, organising child care, advising on alternate ways to parent, advising on age appropriate behaviour and discipline for children, assisting with issues relating to the children’s health and education.
Often the support offered is aimed at building the parent’s/carer’s confidence to care for their child. The goal of the program is to assist families to provide adequate care for their children and avert the risk of abuse.
Children’s Family Centres also run support groups for these parents.
Following the Special Neighbours model but with an additional focus on early intervention, ante-natal and post-natal care, family workers at Barnardos South Coast are linked with families and visit for periods of up to 5 hours a week. They offer support, advice, referral to other services, advocacy and access to other resources.
Family support - Canberra
Home visitation programs and groups at the Canberra Centre have a particular focus on the needs of young mums and mothers suffering from mental illness.
Family support - Orana Far West
Small programs of family support have been initiated in Wellington and Mudgee. The Families First Program helps families under stress with children from 0-8 years of age or mothers in the ante-natal period.
The program is aimed at teenage, inexperienced or first-time parents, families from culturally diverse backgrounds, parents with a developmental disability and families with other, special needs.
Family workers work with parents to develop their parenting skills by providing a flexible home-based service, facilitating group activities, assisting parents to achieve goals and referring families to other support services.