Perceptions of Parenting: implications for policy and practice

What matters most to parents: The evidence, opportunities, and policy implications
Wednesday 25 July, 1440 – 1500


Annette Michaux
Parenting Research Centre

Parenting support is a controversial policy area. As parenting support is concerned with the practice of parenting, it is conceptually different to support that focuses on parents’ circumstances and wellbeing (e.g., family tax credits, parent employment initiatives). Two years ago, at this conference, we presented evidence from the Perceptions of Parenting report, which mapped the gaps between expert and public understandings of effective parenting and parenting support.
Given what we now know about how parents and parenting are perceived by the public, and how these perceptions differ in unproductive ways from the perceptions of experts and practitioners, what is the best way of talking about parenting? In this presentation, we will report on further research which we have commissioned in partnership with the Commonwealth Department of Social Services and New South Wales Government Department of Family and Community Services, the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training, and The Benevolent Society.
We will report on how findings from the Perceptions of Parenting report have been used in policy and describe current work being undertaken to develop and test metaphors that can be used by practitioners, agencies, and government departments to encourage a more productive way of thinking about parenting and parenting support.