1. Welcome Joan, can you tell me about your role?

I am a Family Support Worker, which means I provide parenting support and information to parents. I do this either by meeting with the parents individually or through parenting groups and seminars that I run. I offer a range of groups to help parents increase their confidence in parenting and understand and handle their children’s behaviour.

I can assist families with responding to a range of issues including:

  • Tantrums
  • Bedtime problems
  • Mealtime difficulties
  • Children not following instructions
  • Aggression towards parents, siblings and others
  • Developing a child’s emotional intelligence
  • Managing a child’s anxiety

2. Can you tell me what impact COVID-19 has had on your ability to provide support to families?

Firstly we were advised by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services that our procedures needed to be to keep our staff, clients and community safe from coronavirus. I began to have some clients reach out to me wanting support, so I began to work closely with management to devise alternatives to be able to provide support to families during this difficult time.

“When we were told to go into lockdown, I was concerned with what impact all the uncertainty and change was going to have on my children. All of a sudden they were having to learn from home for school, they are being told they can’t see their friends apart from on a screen, and even that they are only allowed outside for 1 hour a day. I am thankful that I can reach out and still access parenting support services through Joan. It’s made all the difference”.

I am pleased to report that we were able to produce and make available a series of parenting support videos on a range of topics that seemed appropriate such as how to talk to children who are experiencing anxiety. These videos are great for parents who might not be able to attend our sessions due to other commitments, they can access valuable information at a time that suits them.

We also started offering online webinars in place of our in-person seminars. At first, we needed to overcome a few technical and logistical issues. because it’s very different presenting to a room full of parents where I can run engagement activities and people can openly ask questions to a screen full of people in tiny squares. We tried our first parenting support webinar and it was a success, so we continued to offer a range of topics in this format.

Feedback has been great. Some parents even prefer the online format as they don’t need to arrange sitters and travel, it’s more convenient.

“I thoroughly enjoyed Joan’s parenting webinar, I learnt some great practical tips and tricks, but more than anything it gave me insight to view my situation from a different perspective, all from the comfort of my lounge room”.

3. What parenting support webinars are coming soon?

Parenting Webinar – How to build a positive relationship with your child through communication

In this practical webinar you will learn how to build a positive relationship with your child thorough improved communication. Suitable for parents with preschool or early primary school aged children.

This parenting seminar covers the following topics:

  • How to build close relationships with your child through improved communication
  • Tips for listening to children well
  • How to have conversations with kids

Date: Wednesday 10 February
Time: 1pm to 3pm
Cost: $25 per adult, $40 per couple
Bookings: Essential via https://www.trybooking.com/BOCCR

I am also running one on behalf of Shire of Nillumbik and their parenting series for parents of teens.

Free Webinar – Tuning in to Teens

Presented by Family Support Worker – Joan Lauricella, this webinar is a taster of the Tuning in to Teens parenting program.
The session will cover:

  • About the Tuning in to Teens program
  • What emotional intelligence is and why it’s important
  • How parents can help their teen develop emotional intelligence

Audience: Parents of adolescence aged 10 to 18 years
When: Wednesday 17 February
Time: 1pm-2.30pm
Location: Online Webinar (Zoom)
Cost: Free
Bookings: https://www.trybooking.com/BOCPO

Further information about how to register for these free events and the full calendar of events can be found at nillumbik.vic.gov.au/parenting-hub

The Nillumbik Parenting Series is proudly presented in partnership with healthAbility and ParentZone with the support of other local services and agencies.

nillumbik.vic.gov.au/parenting-hub