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Becoming Parents and Carers:

Parenting is the process of raising and nurturing children in a family.


Caring is looking after the needs and wellbeing of another person.
Biological Parents: A biological parent provides the genetic material
through the sperm and ovum to create a technologies.
Pregnancy:
Planned Pregnancy:
Planned pregnancies involve a strategic choice on when to parent.
There are physical, emotional and economic impacts that result
from this decision. Usually better for the child.
Unplanned Pregnancy:
May result from poor knowledge about contraception or the fertility
cycle, or failure with contraception methods. Eg: the condom tore.
IVF and GIFT:
IVF (In-virtro fertilisation) and GIFT (Gamete Intra-fallopian transfer)
are examples of assised reproductive technologies. This means
assistance in terms of expertise and technology is used to aid
contraception.
Social Parents: A social parent does not share the same genetic
relationship with their child. They include foster, adoptive, step, and
surrogate parents. There are various legal and social implications of
social parenting.
Adoption: The legal responsibility of parenting a child given to a
family or parent other than the biological parents.
Fostering: Provides an alternative living arrangement for children
whose parents are temporarily unable to care for them in family
homes.
Step-parenting: When a man or woman marries or forms a de-facto
relationship with a partner who has a child or children from a
previous relationship.
Surrogacy: An arrangement between a couple who cannot have a
baby and a woman who gets pregnant on behalf of a couple.
Carer Relationships:
Voluntary Carers: They are unpaid. Usually family members or
friends and provide care and support to children or adults who have
a disability, mental health problem, chronic condition or temporary
illness. They may need to care for them for a few hours a week or
all day, every day.

Paid carers: They undertake the role of caring as a form of


employment, and therefore get paid to care for others.

Managing and Caring Responsibilities


Preparations for becoming a parent or carer:
Physical:
Biological and Social Parenting:
Optimise physical health before contractption and during
pregnancy.
Maintain a healthy diet.
Stop use of alcohol and other drugs.
Exercise regularly.
Attend regular appointments.
Attend parental courses.
Carers:
Regular exercise to maintain optimum physical and emotional
health.
Healthy diet.
Practise safety skills needed for the dependant.
Practise how to give an injection or use an oxygen mask.
Install physical aids in the home such as railings and ramps.
Social:
Biological Parents:
Prenatal classes to meet others in the same situation.
Investigate child friendly social activities in the local area.
Organise baby-free time with partner.
Arrange childcare if required.
Social Parents:

Develop relationships with other parents such as childrens


sport.
Relevant support groups.
Parenting groups.
Arrange child-free time with the partner to develop and
maintain relationship.
Carers:
Enlist support of family members.
Identify necessary support groups.
Investigate respite care to arrange some free tome from carer
responsibilities.
Let friends know about the situation.
Emotional:
Biological Parents:
Discuss moods and emotions with partner, family and friends.
Prepare other family members for the new family member.
Practise relaxation techniques.
Social Parents:
Discuss soncerns, fears and thoughts with partner and other
parents to identify with others and gain insight into possible
actions and solutions.
Recognise if help is required and form a formal or informal
support network.
Carers:
Enlist in a support group to deal with varied emotions.
Make friends with others in a similar situation.
Understand that conflicting emotions may be experienced
when the person requires residential care.
Economical:
Biological and Social Parents:
Plan for financial management.
Analyse and adjust finances.
Investigate maternity and paternity leave provisions in the
workplace.
Parenting payments from centrelink.
Ask other people in support groups for strategies.
Carers:
Plan for financial management.
Analyse and adjust finances.
Investigate leave provisions in the workplace.
Investigate caring payments from centrelink.
Ask people in support groups for strategies.
Factors influencing resource management in the caring relationship:

Dependents affected by the caring relationship:


Age: The age and maturity of the dependent will determine the
level of care required. An aged person may not require care just
because they are elderly.
Skills and Capabilities: When the dependent has developed a
variety of personal skills and capabilities, it will be possible for him
or her to contribute to the relationship and management of
resources. Skills may also need to be interchanged or substituted.
Special Needs: Can refer to those of the dependent or the carer.
Can affect what services are needed either temporarily or
permanently. Sometimes a parent may have special needs and the
young person is required to act as carer. Centre link payments may
be required to supplement the family income.
Resources:
Time: All of these things listed need time. The personal care of the
dependants, such as feeding them and washing them. Developing
close relationships. Communicating and sharing relationships.
Personal pursuits.
Energy: Feeding, changing and playing with infants. Transporting
adolescents to leisure activities. Shopping and providing house
maintenance for an aged parent. Feeding and lifting a child, such as
one with cerebral palsy.
Finances: Required for access many other resources required for
parenting and caring. Such as material goods and formal support
networks.
Housing: Housing is required to meet the needs of the dependent
and carer.
Access to services:
Easy access will enhance the opportunity for parents and carers to
utilise the services.
Educational: Schools and preschools.
Health: Doctors, hospitals, early childhood centres, respite care.
Homecare assistance: Meals on Wheels, home care.
Recreational: libraries, sporting clubs and dance groups, senior
citizens centres.
Financial: Centrelink.
Housing: Department of housing, nursing homes and hostels.
Transport: Community transport, maxi-taxi.
Spiritual: Church, synagogues, mosques.
Management Strategies:
Management decisions involve the use of resources to achieve
goals. Management strategies include;
Identifying values
Setting and prioritising goals

Establishing standards
Identifying resources and using them wisely
Considering the interchangeability of resources
Encouraging cooperation
Aiming to have flexible attitudes when necessary
Sharing decision-making, goal/priority setting and
responsibility
Sharing role allocation
Having effective time management
Developing sound planning procedures
Establishing routines
Implementing management skills through a management
process (POIE, TQM, PDCA)
Using a problem solving approach
Asking for help
Changing perceptions about men/women and
parenting/caring.

Parenting and Caring Relationships


Roles in parenting and caring:
Individuals and groups who adopt roles:
Parents: Biological and social parents plan an important role in
parenting. The importance of providing love, support

encouragement is combined with the practical tasks of providing for


physical needs.
The non-custodial parent is the one who may have the child visit on
the weekends and for part of the holiday periods.
Grandparents: Can pass on family traditions and culture. They give
the emotional wellbeing, self-esteem, self-confidence and the ability
to give and receive affection for all individuals. They help to provide
economic, social and emotional support.
Relatives, including siblings: Provide additional support to parents
and can be alternative role models. They assist in the socialisation
of the child. They assist the family unit to fulfil its tasks.
Teachers, including childcare staff: Play a significant role in
nurturing and meeting the needs of children in their care. They
contribute to;
Physical needs-providing safe activities.
Intellectual needs- teaching skills and knowledge.
Social needs- engouragement and support in learning to work
with others and following school rules.
Cultural needs- teaching children about the culture in which
they live, history and traditions and the way of life of other
cultures.
Emotional needs- developing self-esteem of students through
recognition and rewards.
Spiritual needs- in some schools, a particular faith is taught
and the students have opportunity to prayer.

Paid carers: There are a variety of paid carers who assist in


childcare and various settings in which childcare can occur. The
child may develop a very close and warm bond with the nanny if the
parents are frequently absent. They also include those who provide
assistance to the aged, chronically ill or disabled.
Significant Others: Doctors, neighbours, friends and social workers
are able to supplement a parents role in the short term or if there is
a specialised need. Neighbours and friends may provide assistance
or occasional care for children if the parent needs to complete an
errand.
Factors Influencing parenting and caring relationships:

Age: The age of parents and carers can influence the relationships
developed with those in care. With age comes experience. The size
of the age gap may also influence relationships. Where the age gap
is small, closer relationships may develop as the carer may find it
easier to identify those with in their care and recall their own

experiences. The age at which someone begins caring may affect


their ability to do the task well.
Culture and religion: Culture and religion affect the way people live
their lives. A persons culture can have a significant influence on
nurturing and the development of parenting and caring relationships
as sharing culture and belief can be a significant sourse od bonding.
Education: A parent or carers level of knowledge and education
may vary from formal schooling to specific courses offeren by
community groups or TAFE to reading one of the many parenting or
caring advice books, magazines or websites.
Gender: People of different genders behave distinctively and this
carries through to the way in which they carry out their parenting
and caring roles.
Previous experiences/upbringing: The way in which people are
raised will influence the way they parent.
Socioeconomic status: This is influenced by the income they
receive, the occupation of the parents, the level of education and
the area in which they live. These influences affect the way people
carry out their parenting and caring tasks, and the quality of the
relationship.
Media: Individuals are exposed to behaviours and opinions that are
expressed on television, radio and the internet, in newspapers and
magazines and in the images portrayed through advertising in these
media and on billboards. Sometimes the behaviours are compatible
with family values and are therefore positive.
Style of parenting;
Democratic: democratic parenting style invites all family
members to have a say in decisions. Children feel
appreciated, especially when they form part of the total
situation. More likely to built respect with their parents as
communication is valued.
Authoritarian: Characterises a demanding and inflexible
parent who usually has a goal to achieve. Can lead to a poor
quality relationship.
Permissive/indulgent: Parent usually agrees to whatever the
child wants. Sometimes children compare their parents to
other parents, and feel as though their own do not care about
them as much as they want them to.
Negligent: A child may not have suitable clothing or hygiene
needs may not be met. Lack of warmth, affirmation and
physical affection. Children feel like they have been
neglected.

Special needs: Special needs can include diseases, disabilities and


other things. They refer to situations in which people require more
support than those without such needs. Special needs of both
children and adults can influence relationships.
Multiple Role Expectations as a result of commitments to:
Family: Parents and carers are responsible for meeting the primary
needs of their dependence, through ensuring they are fed, have
adequate clothing and are sheltered and safe from their
surroundings.
Work: The majority of parents and carers will partake in some form
of employment to gain an income and support. Depending on the
type of job and the hours involved, the roles and responsibilities
may change.
Sport/leisure: It is common for children to participate in various
sport and leisure activities as they grow up. They may join local
sporting organisations which require them to attend training
sessions and weekend games.
Other-Social commitments: Parents and carers need to make time
for their social lives, as they do sport and leisure. They should
maintain relationships with their friends and acquaintances and
attend social gatherings or outings to support the need for
belonging.

Rights and responsibilities in parenting and caring:

Rights:
Parents and carers: It is the parents social right to be
appreciated, recognised and respected for what they do. The
Family Law Act 1975 states that parents have the right to: (In
short points to remember)
Discipline
Education
Adoption
Legal proceedings
Medical treatment

Children: The basic rights of children that Australian courts


recognise relate to: Autonomy of children- the right to make
own decisions, medical treatment-over age of 14, to make
own medical decisions, inheritance-no right to inherit parents

property after death, but are entitled to claim under family law
provisions.

Other persons in care: dependents have the right to


participate in decisions that effect their life, be protected form
neglect and abuse, receive services such as medical support,
spiritual comfort and access to relevant supports; for example,
a social worker.
Responsibilities:
Parents and carers: develop personal physical intellectual,
social and emotional skills, provide a secure and safe family
environment, establish and maintain positive communication
patterns, spend time with the children/dependents.
Duty of care: Society deems that parents and carers are
the individuals who must meet the needs of their
dependents. The welfare of the child is most important
and it is the joint responsibility of parents and carers to
care for their dependents wellbeing. They have a legal
position as both guardian and custodian.
Setting limits and discipline: Every child needs to know
what is expected of them, to know how far they can go,
learn about fairness, respect others and foster their selfesteem.
Children: Parenting involves the process of development from
being a dependent individual during infancy to being a
responsible and independent individual in adulthood. A child
learns responsibility through parents who set uidelines and
limits to behaviours in the early years, by being provided with
opportunities for interdependence to occur. They need to be
responsible for themselves, finances, in society and for others.
Sources of Conflict: Conflict arises as a concequence of human
interaction. It is normal, and many psychologists agree that conflict
can be healthy and constructive in family life. The way in which
conflict is handled is the critical issue. Conflict can also arise
between carers and their dependents. Many people were previously
active and independent, and so they take out their anger on their
carer. This can be difficult for the carer to accept.

Support for parents and carers


Non-government agencies may receive financial support from
the government but are administrated by the organisation
itself.
Examples of government agencies are NSW Department of
community services (DoCS) and Centrelink.
Health Services: The health services available include the
family doctor, early childhood clinics, paediatrician,
community nurses.
Welfare Services: These are non-government agencies. Eg. St
Vincent de Paul Society, Salvation Army and Mission Australia.
These assist parents and carers to meet primary needs, such
as clothing, furniture and household goods. They support lowincome families and pay gas, electricity and water bills for
those who cannot afford them.
Parenting groups: assist parents with skills and knowledge.
Groups include, Partners Without Partners, Australian
Breastfeeding Association
Community Groups: Examples of community groups include
Rotary- manage youth leadership programs or raise money for
a disabled member of the community, and playgroups.
Government agencies: These are government funded and
are administered groups. Eg. NSW DoCS provides assistance
and advice to people adopting or fostering children, helps
families in abusive relationships by offering support groups to

victims of domestic violence and provides specialised sessions


for children. Centrelink provides information and government
payments for parents and carers.

Childcare services: These provide certified and safe childcare


for parents who are working, studying or taking care of other
dependents.

Carers support groups: Carers Australia and Carers NSW link


all carers support groups in NSW. They provide practical,
legal and emotional support to carers supporting aged, ill and
disabled dependents.