Map your steps - Positive Parenting
The key steps involved in delivering positive parenting activities to parents are provided below as a useful starting point for developing your Community Action Plan activity, and
informing your approach.
Your activity may include some or all steps below, depending on the capacity of the LDAT and partner community organisations.
These steps provide an indicative guide only (it is important to tailor your approach to your local community):
a. Engaging the community
b. Link community organisations to quality positive parenting activities
c. Strengthening existing positive parenting activities
d. Supporting community organisations with communication
Engaging the community
Engage the community to get parenting issues on the public agenda and to motivate the community to take action by:
1. Identifying relevant community organisations
2. Identifying key contacts/gatekeepers within those organisations to champion the issue within the organisation
3. Demonstrating how positive parenting aligns with potential partners’ core business and values
4. Establishing ‘what’s in it’ for the community organisation.
A critical role of an LDAT in facilitating or supporting a positive parenting activity is to engage with their community to put parenting issues on the public agenda and to motivate the community to take action.
Tips for engaging the community:
- Identify community organisations that you may partner with. See Working with community partners
- Identify key contacts within these organisations. Identify one or more people in these organisations who can act as a champion and invest time into your activity. These people may be in leadership roles, have an influential personality, or be a proactive person who is passionate about preventing alcohol and other drug-related harms. For example, key contacts may include local parents, kindergarten teachers and librarians, through to one or more staff employed by local council, or other specialist community support services. (Meet face-to-face if you can rather than relying on email.)
- When discussing positive parenting, promote the benefits to children, parents, families and the broader community. Show potential partners how positive parenting aligns with their core business and values
- Find a hook and answer the question for them: ‘What’s in it for me?’. For example, are they motivated to deliver positive parenting due to their existing organisational charter, to related problems they’re facing (e.g. drug use, poor attendance etc.), or does the impact of these problems impact their existing broader client base?
Useful resources: Community consultation
Linking community organisations to quality Positive Parenting activities
Link community organisations with quality positive parenting activities by:
1. Linking community organisations to evidence informed positive parenting activities
2. Identifying ‘suitably qualified’ expert to select the best program to suit the community’s needs and to assist with delivering a positive parenting information session
3. Establishing accurate sources of information to support your positive parenting session (many existing positive parenting activities provide support information)
4. Working with the community organisations and expert to plan a positive parenting session/s in your community
5. Working with the community organisations to promote the positive parenting session/s to parents, grandparents and family members in your community
6. Working with the community organisation to recruit parents, grandparents and family members in your community to attend the positive parenting session/s
7. Working with the community organisation and expert to deliver the positive parenting session/s.
A key role of an LDAT is to link community organisations to quality positive parenting activities, which may include:
- Existing parenting programs, such as Triple P: Positive Parenting Program
- Expert trainers, facilitators and guest speakers, sourced from local networks or peak bodies.
LDATs should not deliver positive parenting activities unless the organisations in their team have the appropriate expertise. In the circumstances that they don’t have the required expertise, the primary role of LDATs should be to support ‘suitably qualified’ community organisations to deliver quality positive parenting activities.
See paragraph Select an evidence-based activity for information about positive parenting activities that have been shown to be effective in Australia.
Strengthening existing Positive Parenting activities
Strengthen existing positive parenting activities by:
1. Identifying existing positive parenting activities being delivered within your community or being delivered by local community organisation to support your positive parenting activity
2. Considering how you can work with community organisations delivering positive parenting activities to support and strengthen their existing efforts
3. Providing community organisations with access to resources and evidence around local needs.
It is likely that a number of positive parenting activities are being delivered locally by community organisations (e.g. many libraries have ‘storytime’ sessions for young children and their parents). Draw on your local knowledge and networks to identify existing activity and consider how your group can work with community organisations to support and strengthen their existing efforts.
Some ways that LDATs can act as a resource for community organisations that are delivering positive parenting activities include:
- Providing community organisations with access to resources and evidence around local needs
- Link groups with local initiatives (e.g. upskilling opportunities for parents) or networks and promote collaboration.
This kind of information can be drawn from the LDATs initial community consultation.
see paragraph Working with community partners in Positive Parenting Toolkit - Planning for further guidance on engaging with community partners.
Useful resources: Working with community partners
Supporting community organisations with communication
Support community organisations with communication by:
1. Helping them develop a communication strategy to support the delivery of their selected positive parenting activity
2. Working with the community organisations to promote the benefits of their selected positive parenting activity to parents/grandparents/family members.
Communication around positive parenting is important, and if done poorly, may lead to poor uptake of activities and parent backlash due to parents being misinformed about the purpose, content and outcomes/benefits of the program.
Your group can support community organisations with communication. This may include helping groups to develop promotional materials, promoting activities to parents and providing a sounding board on how to frame and communicate different activities.
Key considerations when communicating positive parenting activities:
- Ensure parents know how to reach out for help by focusing on raising awareness of activities, how the activities can help families and where parents can find them
- Ensure all communication is inclusive. Parenting activities are for all parents, including fathers, grandparents and carers
- Focus on normalising the idea that parenting activities help all parents, not just those with more severe problems
- Be supportive. Avoid language that may be perceived as judgemental
- Focus on the positives. Positive parenting activities deliver benefits for children, parents, families and the broader community.
Measuring success and reporting
Measure and report on the success of your positive parenting activity.
1. Support community organisations to collect success measures to determine the success of the positive parenting activity that they are delivering (see Measuring Success). Consider doing follow-up with the community organisations you are working with and participants of the positive parenting activity to track their progress
2. Report on your success, acquit your funds and consider other things you can do to support parents, grandparents and family members in your community (see Next steps).