Government to teach parents how to raise children

GOVERNMENT workers will teach Victorian parents how to raise their children under a radical overhaul of the state’s child protection system.

Over 50 new social workers will be hired as part of a pilot project to fix troubled homes and help struggling parents, the Sunday Herald Sun newspaper says.

The move comes after months of controversy surrounding the state government’s handling of child services.

An ombudsman’s report raised serious questions about the capacity of the department of human services to protect children, detailing cases where children were living with convicted sex offenders.

In September last year, state officials admitted they knew nothing of a case in which a woman was allegedly abused by her father for 30 years until it was featured in media reports.

Community Services Minister Lisa Neville is expected to announce the details of the parenting pilot project on Sunday, the paper says.

Under the plan, newly-hired social workers will spend up to a year teaching parents basic skills such as disciplining children, making healthy meals and managing school schedules.

“They may also help parents manage the family’s budget,” Ms Neville told the Sunday Herald Sun.

“Developing schedules for a new baby, safe sleeping arrangements, how to manage a toddler or a difficult adolescent and even how to play educational games with their kids are all activities the mentors can help families with.”

The parental workers will be trained in identifying family violence, substance abuse and mental health issues as well.


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