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Supporting Parents Fosters Healthy Relationships

Media Statement – for immediate release 7 February 2008

Supporting Parents Fosters Healthy Relationships and Communities

Supporting parents and families is the most important thing society can do to foster healthy relationships and communities says Relationship Services, in welcoming the Families Commission parenting initiative launched today.

“The impact of the way we were parented affects the way we relate to people throughout our lives,” said Cary Hayward, Relationship Services National Practice Manager.

“From our parents we learn how to relate to others, how to relate to the wider world, and develop our sense of self. These are all crucial in shaping how individuals develop and succeed throughout their life.”

Relationship Services works with over 8,000 people each year to improve their parenting skills through both counselling and education courses, including running parenting programmes in prisons, as well as providing self help material on its website, “People learn new ways and techniques which make a huge difference to family life,” said Mr Hayward.

Relationship Services encourages all parents to actively think about how they parent and look for ways to improve their parenting skills.

“Parenting is the most important job any person does. There is help available, be it attending counselling or education programmes run by Relationship Services, or accessing self-help material on our website,, or the Families Commission’s new parenting website.”

“Being a parent can be very challenging, and society also needs to support and assist parents in whatever way it can. There are huge social costs to inadequate parenting and the resulting inability to form good healthy relationships.”

“We see the results of an inability to form strong healthy relationships in our large prison population, our levels of family violence, our schools and youth justice, and in workplace conflict. Parenting is a crucial aspect of our society, and Relationship Services is pleased to partner with the Families Commission on this parenting campaign,” said Mr Hayward.


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