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Filling the need for reliable, ready-to-use parenting information online

Naomi Hackworth and Julie Green, Raising Children Network

When you become a parent, whether it’s for the first time or with subsequent children, it sets you off on a huge learning journey – children don’t come with a manual, and all children are different, so for most of us that means learning on the job and adapting as our children grow and change.

Parenting isn’t always easy, and everyone faces challenges with their parenting at some time or another -  or times when they just feel a bit uncertain about what to do or how to do it. Parenting is an easier job when you have access to reliable, trusted information that is practical and realistic, and available when and where you need it - information that helps you develop your parenting skills in a way that fits with your own family and gives you confidence to make your own decisions about what’s best for your child’s development and well-being. While lots of parents are now looking online for information and support, it’s not always easy to determine the quality of that information - how reliable it is, whether it’s developed by experts in the field and whether it’s up to date.

Raising Children Network is an online and mobile platform offering understandable and trusted information on parenting - health, learning, development and behaviour involved with pregnancy, infancy, childhood and the teenage years. It’s also widely used by professionals working with parents and families in areas such as relationship and family support, school counselling, early childhood, and child and family health.

Using Raising Children Network cuts my job in half…I have asked the families I work with to stop using Google and use this platform.
Family support worker, Darwin, NT.

There is a huge range of content on Raising Children Network, and it comes in different formats – recognising that different people like to use information in different ways. We cover more than 2,000 topics in articles, videos, podcasts, visual explanations and interactive resources. Our team develops the resources in close collaboration with almost 400 child and parenting experts from peak bodies, research institutes, universities and non-government organisations across Australia. All the content is rigorously researched and independently reviewed for quality before it’s published online. Having a trusted source of information that you can rely on, helps you to make the decisions that are best for your family, and gives you more time to play with and enjoy your children.

These resources are also available 24/7, which means you can dip in and out whenever you need to - to learn new parenting skills or simply to re-assure yourself that you’re on the right track as your child grows and develops. Being able to access information when you need it and when you’re "on the go" is important. This might mean using your mobile phone to look for information while you have a free moment on the train, or using our disability app to find a service when you have that particular question in mind. About half of the 7.3 million people visiting our site each year do so via their smartphones.

As a parent, your own wellbeing is also a very important part of your child’s life because taking care of yourself helps you be the best parent you can be. Our ‘grown-ups’ area provides tips and strategies to help parents look after themselves, care for their relationships, make confident decisions, improve family functioning and lay the foundations for long-term health and wellbeing. You can link with other parents through our online forums and the Raising Children Network Facebook page. You can also connect with services in your local area by entering your postcode into the “My Neighbourhood” service finder.

Raising Children Network is an initiative of its two partner organisations: Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) Royal Children's Hospital's Centre for Community Child Health; and the Parenting Research Centre (PRC) and is supported by the Australian Government.

Contact

Dr Julie Green, Executive Director, Raising Children Network
Parenting Research Centre, East Melbourne, Australia
E: jgreen@parentingrc.org.au
T: +61 3 8660 3500

 

The Murdoch Children's Research Institute may publish material submitted to the blog and remove any comments it deems inappropriate or offensive at its sole discretion. The Institute accepts no liability in respect of any material published or the content and accuracy of any material published.  If you have any concerns with any of the published material or comments on the blog, please contact us at media@mcri.edu.au.