Continued support for parents during COVID-19

Friday 15 May 2020

Innovative service delivery is helping ParentsNext participants achieve their education goals and build their personal support networks even during shutdown.

During this difficult COVID-19 period, ParentsNext participants are continuing to achieve their goals by embracing new ways of learning. A key focus for the ParentsNext program is to support participants back into work once their youngest child turns six, through appointments and activities. ParentsNext also helps participants to build their support networks.

Eight of Mission Australia’s ParentsNext participants have been undertaking a Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways. The training was being delivered face-to-face one day per week. Due to the COVID-19 shutdown, the participants were unable to attend the sessions and were worried they wouldn’t be able to continue working towards their Certificate II.

Impressed by the group’s enthusiasm to continue their study, Mission Australia and the trainer quickly found an innovative way to deliver their services and support the participants through the training. They worked with each participant to ensure they could use online video conferencing software.

After two weeks, the group could easily use the technology and formed a special bond – even meeting with each other online outside of the course.

Staff at Mission Australia said that that while the shutdown presented some challenges that initially seemed insurmountable disruption.

“But by finding new ways of servicing, parents had a fantastic opportunity to continue their study and build their personal support networks,” Amber Leschke, Mission Australia, ParentsNext Area Manager QLD said.

“The participants have adapted to the new way of learning so well that they have suggested doing additional components of the training via online video conferencing, as it enables them to learn while still caring for their children.

“The proof is in these smiling faces!”