Summary

  • Parenting is one of the most important things you will ever do. Don't cope alone.
  • Many parents have concerns about parenting.
Parenting is one of the most important tasks we undertake. It doesn't always come naturally, though; parenting takes practice and patience. There are a range of support services to help parents.

Parenting services help families to raise happy, healthy children. They are available to parents with children aged 0 to 18 years. These support services are widely used by large numbers of parents.

Parentline

Parentline is a telephone information, counselling and referral service. The service is available to parents of children of all ages - from birth to 18 years of age. Parentline operates between 8 am and midnight, seven days a week. Parentline helps with everyday questions and concerns such as:
  • Resolving family conflict
  • Discipline issues
  • Sleeping problems
  • Improving family relationships.

Maternal and Child Health Service

The Maternal and Child Health Service provides information and advice about child health, child development, maternal health, parenting and home safety for families with children from birth to six years.

Early Parenting Centres provide support and information

Early Parenting Centres can provide:
  • Support and help for parents of children aged from 0 to 36 months
  • Help with common difficulties such as sleeping and feeding problems
  • A place for parents and children to stay so they can receive 24 hour support (for up to five days)
  • Day programs (day-stay) that offer a minimum of four hours support.

Family Intervention Services

Family Intervention Services provide an intensive level of support for families with children aged up to ten years who are experiencing particular parenting difficulties.

Regional Parenting Resource Services

Regional Parenting Resource Services provide parenting support, education and advice. They help parents develop their skills and coping abilities and improve their relationships with their children.

Help to manage behavioural problems

The types of behavioural problems that parenting services can help you with include:
  • Challenging behaviour and parental stress
  • Setting limits
  • Fighting among siblings
  • Disagreement between parents over the management of their children
  • Violence in the home.

Help with other parenting issues

Other issues that parenting services can help you with include:
  • Children with a chronic illness or disability
  • Accident prevention
  • Changes in family relationships such as divorce
  • Communication problems between parents and their children
  • Contact with other parents facing similar issues.

Many community agencies run parenting groups

Places where you may find parenting groups include:
  • Maternal and child health centres
  • Neighbourhood houses
  • Community health centres.

Where to get help

  • Your regional Department of Human Services office
  • Parentline Tel. 13 22 89
  • Family Relationship Advice Line Tel. 1800 050 321 Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, Saturday, 10am to 4pm
  • Regional Parenting Resource Service
  • Your maternal and child health nurse
  • Community health centre
  • Neighbourhood House.

Things to remember

  • Parenting is one of the most important things you will ever do. Don't cope alone.
  • Many parents have concerns about parenting.

More information

Parents

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Parenting basics

Family structures

Communication, identity and behaviour

Raising healthy children

Common childhood health concerns

Immunisation

Keeping yourself healthy

Children with special needs

Child safety and accident prevention

Grief and trauma

Support for parents

Content Partner

This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Last updated: March 2011

Page content currently being reviewed.

Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.