Year in review 2015-16: Supporting families

The Parenting Research Centre (PRC) promotes the importance of parenting and provides practical help and support for families raising children.

Our achievements in 2015-16 included the following:

1. Raising Children Network achievements

Raising Children Network reached a 10-year milestone in this financial period. Since our launch in May 2006, we have provided free and trustworthy information on parenting from pregnancy through to raising teenagers. We deliver this website in conjunction with our partner: Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health. The website is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

Site usage
The number of 2015-16 visitors to the site reflects the trust and credibility it has established in 10 years of operation. During the year:

  • 40,000 people each day accessed over 2300 videos, apps and articles
  • 12.9 million visitors viewed 22.67 million pages
  • 124,000 people followed Raising Children Network on Facebook as at June 2016; 82% more than the same time last year
  • 45% of visitors to the site came via a mobile device.

New content
We continued to publish new content (105 resources), and updated existing content (710 resources). Highlights included:

  • gifted and talented children: eight articles and four videos now support parents of the 10% of children in the community identified as gifted and talented
  • blended families and step families: nine new articles and five videos help parents navigate their unique family circumstances
  • free online videos and articles: produced in partnership with the National Disability Insurance Agency to be launched with the national rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in July 2016.

Access via other portals  
Our resources were used by organisations that reach parents directly through their own channels, demonstrating that content is valued and relevant to a broad range of service providers. Examples included:

  • The South Australian Government selected 14 of our most popular videos: as part of its Positive Parenting initiative that sends new parents regular text messages with links to the videos (around 20,000 births in South Australia per year).
  • The Victorian Government included 31 Parenting in Pictures: graphics and numerous links to the website in the recently enhanced child health booklet My Health, Learning and Development Record (more than 78,000 babies born in Victoria each year).
  • New South Wales Mid North Coast Health licenced the use of 42 videos to broadcast via in-patient waiting rooms in seven hospitals.
  • Tonic Health Media licenced the use of 215 videos to broadcast in 3500 medical waiting rooms across Australia.

2. MyTime achievements

MyTime is a unique national program created in 2006 by the Parenting Research Centre. MyTime supports parents of children aged 0-16 who have a disability, developmental delay or chronic medical condition.

We coordinate MyTime across Australia with agency partners who deliver services in their communities. MyTime is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

In the 2015-16 period, we focused on forming stronger links with agency partners. We did this by strengthening program operations, introducing state-based monthly calls with all coordinators, and developing practice support plans for facilitators that provided professional development opportunities. Feedback from consultations at state and national levels suggested that facilitators wanted more information about practice support and on topics that parents would be interested in. We began developing these resources with a view to releasing them in 2016-17.

Another focus was increasing national marketing of the program to help recruit more participants and support parent engagement. We saw an increase in attendances as a result.

Key highlights

  • 212 MyTime groups operating across Australia
  • 51,967 attendances
  • 5797 sessions across the country
  • MyTime Facebook launched in July 2015
  • 1778 Facebook likes in the 2015-16 period.

3. Live online parenting support

As part of our commitment to supporting parents directly, we took the first steps to delivering live webinar-based parenting programs. Our initial focus was on using webinars to help parents manage early behaviour problems of children with disabilities. With support from the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training, we finalised a feasibility study in December 2015. We also ran a pilot program that refined our approach to using live webinars as a learning methodology.

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