Parents can access resilience and resourcefulness training

17 July 2017 Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta (by Freyja Postlewaite)

A PARENTING program that benefits families in Wangaratta and district has been bolstered by a $171,000 State Government funding boost. Gateway Health’s ‘Positive Parenting Telephone Service’ is a six to 10 week program based on readings from a workbook or via online modules and is supported through weekly telephone calls with a qualified parent support worker. Parents receive resilience and resourcefulness training and have support when they need it so they can improve both their skills and confidence. The free program is aimed towards parents with children between two and 10 years of age who cannot access other services because of work commitments, transport restrictions or preference. More than 170 families have already benefitted from the program, and Gateway Health is looking into referral pathways to better understand the demand for the service.

Gateway Health chief executive officer Leigh Rhode said the additional funding will enable the service to continue to grow and help a wider range of families. “We absolutely value the importance of this program,” she said. “Its flexibility and how it is tailored specifically to the needs of each client is why it works so well. “The role of parents as the first educators for their children is absolutely critical. “We would like to strengthen the program in Wangaratta and across North East Victoria.” The program aims to coach parents on how to build positive relationships with their children, encourage good behaviour, set rules, respond to misbehaviour and develop realistic expectations of their children. Parents can teach their children how to ask for help when they need it, control their tempers, keep busy without constant attention, solve problems, and to co-operate with others with help from the program.

Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) praised the program for “making a real difference in local people’s lives”. “Gateway Health is a fantastic community organisation that provides great support to families across Northern Victoria,” she said. Anyone can enrol in the program by calling 1800 880 660, and the enrolment process takes about 15 minutes.