Helping parents become NDIS Ready

Disability can affect any family, in any community, at any time.

New online videos and articles are now available at to help parents become NDIS Ready. Our Raising Children Network team and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) have partnered to produce these free resources.

The new resources cover many common queries and topics including:

  • What is the NDIS?
  • How can parents access it?
  • How to go about choosing services
  • Early intervention
  • How to transition from Better Start and Helping Children with Autism to the NDIS.

The NDIS national rollout commenced on 1 July 2016. The Scheme will grow to support 140,000 Australian children aged 0 to 14 with disability. The NDIS is being introduced in stages over the next three years to ensure it is successful and sustainable.

The Raising Children Network website is visited by over 40,000 Australians each day and contains more than 2200 resources on parenting from pregnancy to teens.  

Read more:

Implementation report for Royal Commission

What are the characteristics of implementation best practice? We addressed this question in a recent report to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Our report, Implementation best practice: A rapid evidence review, summarised the evidence for characteristics of implementation best practice. We analysed existing evidence of implementation and identified elements of best practice approaches, including behavioural change, planning, and increasing the competencies and skills of individuals and organisations.

Our review confirmed that implementation is a complex endeavour that can be influenced by:

  • the nature of the practice, program or policy being introduced
  • the individuals involved
  • the inner and outer context of the organisation implementing an intervention
  • the quality of the implementation process.

One of the factors that would constitute best practice is improving the quality of implementation by:

  • assessing the needs and readiness of organisations implementing change
  • training and continuously supporting relevant staff members
  • introducing continuous quality improvement processes
  • creating an early focus on sustainability.

Implementation is an important factor in the success or failure of policy change. Having an understanding of best practice in implementation will help the Royal Commission to develop recommendations with the greatest chance of being implemented and having their intended effect.

Read the full report »

Supporting parents with a mental illness

Can supporting adults with a mental illness in their role as parents aid in their recovery? A free forum on Monday 25 July will examine this question as part of a trial of the Let's Talk About Children program.

Let’s Talk About Children aims to develop and rigorously trial a model of recovery for adults, who are also parents, with major mental health problems.

This four-year research project is funded by the Mental Illness Research Fund and is being conducted by a large partnership of research organisations and service providers including Monash University, The Bouverie Centre (La Trobe University) and the Parenting Research Centre.

The forum, to be held in Melbourne, will showcase organisational initiatives to embed Let’s Talk into service delivery and hear from speakers working in the sector. It will also share information on the progress of the trial across multiple sites in Victoria.

International guest speakers include:

  • Dr Brenda Gladstone: Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, with research interests in child, youth and family mental health.
  • Dr Bente Weimand: researcher at the Akershus University Hospital in Norway, with research interests in families of people with a mental illness.

The forum will also feature parent and practitioner perspectives on parent recovery and early intervention in Victorian mental health services.

Find details and register for the forum.

New report: Perceptions of parenting

The Parenting Research Centre has recently released new research exploring how Australians conceptualise and understand effective parenting. The research offers key insights to guide how governments, researchers and service agencies frame communication about parenting support initiatives.

We commissioned the FrameWorks Institute to conduct research that maps the gaps between expert and public understandings of effective parenting. The report Perceptions of parenting paints a picture of the shared understandings, assumptions and patterns of reasoning that Australians draw upon to think about parenting.

Read more about this exciting new research. 

Review of case management models

We have reviewed the evidence for case management in services for vulnerable families in a 2015 report commissioned by the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).

In partnership with the University of Melbourne, we found some positive and promising findings relating to studies into case management delivered to families in the early parenting years, families with complex needs, and in services for children and youth.

A number of practices were identified in this review that appear to be central to case management including: assessment; coordination of and referral and linkage to services; case monitoring and planning; development of individualised plans; and provision of information, education support and direct services.

On the whole, however, the evidence related to case management was mixed as some studies were not sufficiently rigorous. This is not to suggest that case management lacks merit; it simply lacks definitive evidence of benefit at this point.

Our review, entitled Rapid evidence assessment of case management with vulnerable families, is being used to inform the FACS ongoing service reform and will be used to develop case management models and related support systems.

Read about more about the reform on the FACS website