Ready Steady…. Together! Helping CALD new parents adjust
This 30 minute presentation overviews an innovative primary prevention program run in the west of Melbourne in 2017/18. The Royal Commission into Family Violence specifically noted that there is a need to provide parenting programs as part of the primary prevention approach. Drummond Street Services, Wyndham City Council in partnership with Wyndham Community Education Centre developed Ready Steady…Together. The program features a two hour parenting session to address family violence by improving access to information and support for expecting and new parents from three identified communities: South Sudanese communities, Indian communities, and communities from Myanmar. Although the session did not directly focus on family violence prevention it did address key risk factors for family violence; and help couples bring issues from under the table up into the light for discussion. The development of this initiative program originated from a common concern from the partner agencies about the prevalence of family violence in Wyndham and the need to provide more culturally relevant resources and support to assist families from CALD backgrounds during a critical life stage (early parenthood) which is recognised as a time when women (from all backgrounds) are particularly vulnerable to family violence.
The project aimed to also create employment pathways for women by employing them as bi-cultural facilitators to roll out these sessions throughout the western suburbs. The facilitators taught the developers of the program an enormous amount about the real life issues for parents transitioning from couples to the roles of Mum and Dad while living between two cultures. We will explore the unique challenges and achievements for each cultural group, do some hands on activities from the actual sessions with conference participants (includes some live music!) and present the program evaluation findings.
Over 20 years in family education and support, she was a senior trainer for beyondblue, consultant on VicHealth’s Prevention of violence against women short courses and Helen trains other facilitators at drummond street services and has a specialisation in primary prevention programs. Helen’s presentation style- humorous, evidence based and interactive.