Free online training for health professionals supporting new/expecting parents

  • Mother and baby
St John of God Health Care
Jane Leung
National Project Officer Raphael Services

Access to training and resources has always been challenging for health and other professionals working in rural, regional and remote Australia, and the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need for more online learning opportunities.

Recognising this need, St John of God Social Outreach now provides free online training and materials to support positive outcomes for families through its Connected Parenting resources.

The Connected Parenting resources and training materials have been created to support anyone working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, to promote secure parent child attachment and social and emotional development. 

Developed in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and education professionals and researchers across Australia, the resources are also endorsed by the Circle of Security (COS) developers in the USA.

Connected Parenting incorporates elements of attachment theory, based on knowledge and understanding of parent-infant attachment within Indigenous, cultural and historical contexts.  The resources have been proven to be translatable for a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities across Australia, including regional and remote communities.

St John of God Social Outreach worked with Western Australian Child and Adolescent Community Health Service, to convert the training into an online learning program. The aim of the Connected Parenting online learning program is to provide an accessible and sustainable learning opportunity, to promote parent child attachment in a culturally appropriate and respectful framework.

The free online program is designed to support people working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to:

  • explore the relevance of attachment-based parenting for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents
  • facilitate the sharing of this knowledge with families
  • facilitate conversations with parents and carers to identify supports available to assist them in their parenting role
  • support parents to be the best parents they can be in order for their children to achieve their full potential.

CEO St John of God Social Outreach Susan Cantwell says, “Demand for the online learning and resources continues to grow, with over six hundred people accessing the online learning and over three hundred requests for resources”.

“Since the introduction of the resources we have continued to see growing interest from health and other professionals in Australia and overseas.

“The ongoing pressures of COVID-19 have been felt in all areas including health education and training. Our Connected Parenting resources are free to anyone working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in Australia and Indigenous families anywhere in the world.

“These resources are aimed to support better outcomes for children, especially those in rural and remote locations in Australia and potentially in other parts of the world,” she said.

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