With the completion of the 2000-2004 Strategy, Stronger Families Learning Exchange's (SFLEX) work has also come to an end. From July 2005 this site will no longer be updated but preserved as an archived part of the AIFS website which may not meet the latest accessibility standards. If you are unable to access content in this archive please contact us and we will endeavour to provide it in a format that you can use. Current information relating to working with families and disadvantaged communities can be found on the Child Family Community Australia information exchange.

Information and help for parents

Key themes of particular importance to families picked up by the Federal Government's Stronger Families and Communities Strategy are: early childhood and the needs of families with young children; strengthening marriage and relationships; and balancing work and family. The aim of this page is to provide access via the Internet to resources that may be useful in supporting parents and families in their daily lives. Resources will be added progressively (recent additions will by highlighted by a 'New' symbol), and comments and suggestions for new links are most welcome. Note also that the Institute's Courses and Training resource provides information about training for and about parents and families.

Online resources and publications

Developmental Assets: An Overview
The Search Institute has developed this framework of developmental assets which identifies 40 critical factors for young people's growth and development. The assets offer a set of benchmarks for positive child and adolescent development. Five lists of age-specific assets are presented, covering infants through to adolescents.

Foundations of Child Wellbeing (PDF 3.9 MB)
From UNESCO's Action Research in Family and Early Childhood program, this monograph looks at children's well-being holistically, integrating physical, cognitive, and social-emotional dimensions, and bridges child well-being with a developmental perspective across the life course. It describes foundational strengths for well-being - capacities that can be actively developed, supported, or learned.

Improving Mother/child Interaction To Promote Better Psychosocial Development in Children
This document is a practical manual for the facilitators in the World Health Organization/ International Child Development Programmes for promoting the optimum psychosocial development of children by improving the interaction between children and their caregivers.

Individual Family Service Plan (US)
IFSPWeb is an online assistance program designed to help families and professionals develop Individual Family Service Plans (IFSPs) for young children with disabilities. A philosophy of Family-Centered Services demands that programs be built on existing strengths of the family and the child.

Information For Families About Child Care
The Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Wrokplace Relations provides information about child care, including types, how to find places, help with child care costs, help for families with additional needs, services in rural and regional areas.

Information sheets
One of the topics covered by information sheets provided on the site of the NSW Commission for Children and Young People is parenting - currently, there are tips on raising children, and listening to children. Other sections are child protection, and participation.

Parent Easy Guides
Parenting SA, an iniative of the government of South Australia, provides simple, easy-to-read information on many of the issues faced by parents from birth through adolescence. The guides are organised in three categories: General parenting; Aboriginal; Multicultural.

Parenting Magazines - Parenting NSW
The NSW Government's series of Parenting Magazines offer advice and tips for parents. The site also offers Recipes for children; Kids fun on the Web; Young parents corner; Child well-being research; and information for practitioners and for volunteers.

Parenting tips
Online magazines in PDF format offer information and tips for parents from the NSW Department of Community Services.

Parents and Family Tip Sheets
Helpful tips from the Queensland Government's Putting Families First website on tackling some of the challenges we face as parents and members of a family

Principles of parenting (US)
College of Human Sciences, Auburn University presents a series of information sheets grouped in 3 sections: Strengthening the Parent; 2) Developing the caring child; 3) Developing the strong child.

Talking With Kids About Tough Issues (US)
A national initiative by Children Now and the Kaiser Family Foundation to encourage and assist parents to talk with their children earlier and more often about issues like sex, HIV/AIDS, violence, alcohol, and drug abuse.

Useful Web Sites

ABCD Parenting Young Adolescents Funded by the Department of Human Services Victoria, this site aims to equip parents with the communication skills, parenting practices, information and strategies to help them build positive, trusting relationships with their young adolescent children.

Australian Council on Children and the Media (inc Young Media Australia)
Young Media Australia is the trading name of the Australian Council on Children and the Media. The site provides information about media and children. For example, there are: strategies to prevent harms occurring through inappropriate media use and how to deal with the harms if they have already occurred; overviews of topics such as effects of violence in the media, and children's use of the Internet. Also covered are codes, classifications and complaints.

Children, Youth and Family Consortium - University of Minnesota, USA
This web site is a bridge to a wide range of information and resources about children and families. It connects research, teaching, policy, and community practice.

Best Start
Jointly auspiced by the Victorian Department of Human Services and the Department of Education and Training, the Best Start site links to information for parents, families and/or carers about health, development, learning and well-being. There is also information about Best Start Demonstration Projects.

Center for Child Well-being - USA
This site provides resources which aim to show how a child's development of physical health, cognitive growth, and social and emotional development contributes to well-being; and to give practical information on ways care-givers can nurture strengths in these three areas.

Child and Youth Health - South Australia
Child and Youth Health is an independent State Government health unit, funded primarily by the Department of Human Services. The web site offers information and news on parenting and child health for parents, caregivers and professionals. There is also health and well being information for children and young people.

Family Information Services - USA
Dedicated to the continuing education of parent and family life educators, this site provides access to information resources, and a free email news bulletin (e-zine). One current topic, for example, is Families Coping with Traumatic Events, and there are online documents about how to talk to children about terrorism, etc.

Fatherhood Support Project
The Fatherhood Project is a two year project aimed at supporting men in their role as a parent. The website provides access to PDF versions of a range of useful documents, including: Fatherhood Support Project Groupwork Course Manual; Supporting Men with Parenting - Issues Paper; Fatherhood Support Project Evaluation Report; Monitoring Framework for Evaluation; and Planning Framework for Evaluation Workshop for Fathers.

Health Insite
HealthInsite is a Commonwealth Government of Australia initiative. It aims to improve the health of Australians by providing easy access to quality information about human health.

The US based KinderStart is the largest Web-based directory and search engine focused on children zero to seven years. Information can be found on a wide range of topics in sections such as adoption, bringing baby home, child development, pregnancy and birth, health/medical/dental, legal/financial, family dynamics, food/nutrition, and society/culture/environment.

Northern Territory Department of Families
Information for parents including over 70 downloadable tipsheets.

Parenting NSW
This site is an initiative of the NSW Government, developed by the NSW Parenting Centre. It offers practical tips, information and resources to help make parenting a little easier.

Siblings Australia
Formerly known as the Sibling Project - established in 1999 within the Department of Psychological Medicine at the Women's and Children's Hospital, in Adelaide, to develop and co-ordinate services for families, and in particular, brothers and sisters of children with special needs (disability and chronic illness). The web site provides information for parents about the concerns of siblings and about sibling workshops, and provides references to relevant articles and books.

Search Institute
Search Institute is an independent, nonprofit, nonsectarian organization whose mission is to advance the well-being of adolescents and children by generating knowledge and promoting its application. The web site includes a framework which identifies 40 critical factors for young people's growth and development; a recent report called Grading Grown-Ups: American adults report on their real relationships with kids; a bulletin board, and other resources for parents and communities.

Stepfamily Association of Victoria
A self-help, non-profit organisation offering support, education, and resources to stepfamilies. The site provides links, articles/papers, and information about the courses available for stepfamilies.

Stepfamily Zone
From the Stepfamily Association of South Australia Inc and Stepfamily Australia, offers resources for stepfamilies, including articles, links, newsletter, and books.

Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency Co-operative Limited
VACCA provides the following services: Family Support, Lakidjeka Crisis Support, Extended Care and Permanent Care, Family Preservation, Kurnai and a Debriefing Officer.

Parenting Research Centre - Raising Children Well
The Parenting Research Centre (formerly Victorian Parenting Centre) engages in a range of activities to help parents raise children well. Generating new knowledge of how parenting practices affect children, and how best to engage and support parents in this rewarding but often challenging task is the main focus of the centre.

Help Lines

Lifeline - General crisis help and referral service. Tel: 13 11 14

Lifeline's Just Look Database of where to go for help

Young Media Australia Helpline - for enquiries about children and the media, also a movie review service for parents and caregivers. Tel: 1800 700 357

Men's Line Australia - 24 hour telephone counselling and referral service for men, offering advice on a range of issues such as relationship support, parenting skills, and for those at risk of committing suicide or committing child abuse. Tel: 1300 78 99 78

Northern Territory

Parentline, a confidential telephone counselling service aimed at providing professional counselling and support for parents and all those bringing up kids - 1300 30 1300 (cost of a local call)


A to Z of Help Lines - who to call; phone numbers; when to call; and how they can help: www.communities.qld.gov.au/resources/communityservices/about/publications/a-z-helplines.pdf

South Australia

Parents Help Line. Tel: 1300 - 364 - 100


Family Child and Youth Health Information Service Line. Tel: 1800 808 178


Parentline - a telephone information, advice and referral service for parents of children of all ages. Tel: 13 22 89