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Evidence-Based Parenting Programs

Evidence-based parenting programs offer parents support to strengthen their relationships with their children, build parent’s skills and confidence in parenting and promote positive child development. Evidence-based parenting programs focus on promoting positive play, parent-child interaction, managing behaviours in a positive and consistent way and social-emotional regulation. Evidence-based parenting programs are delivered by trained facilitators either individually or in a group setting and have undergone a rigorous evaluation process to demonstrate their effectiveness with select cohorts.


Evidence-based parenting programs are helpful for all families, however they can be especially beneficial to families experiencing vulnerability including parental mental health and/or disability, parent or child experiences with child protection, or substance misuse.

Choosing the type of evidence-based parenting program that is right for a family depends on their individual family circumstances. When considering which program is right for the family, some helpful questions to ask are:

  • What does the parent/carer do well? What areas do they need support with?
  • Does the parent/carer have specific concerns they wish to address? (e.g.: child’s behaviour, parent-child relationship etc)
  • How does the parent/carer feel about their parenting? Is a group setting appropriate considering the parent's level of confidence in their parenting?
  • What are the parent/carers accessibility needs (e.g.: language/s spoken, literacy levels etc) and how will they be catered for in the program?
  • What other supports need to be in place to facilitate the parent/carers effective engagement with the program? (e.g.: childcare, transport, access to IT etc)

What you can get

Every evidence-based parenting programs will differ in their delivery, however common elements include:

  • Group discussions for parents to share the challenges and successes they experience in their relationships with their children.
  • Demonstrations of positive parent/child interactions (e.g.: videos, modelling etc)
  • Strategies for the parents to practice at home, in between sessions.
  • Some programs include an outreach home-visit from the facilitator to provide one-to-one coaching in the home environment.

Evidence-based parenting programs include:

  • Circle of Security: is designed for parents/carers of children aged 0-12 years who want to strengthen the bonds with their children and help them build secure relationships
  • Bringing Up Great Kids: focuses on building positive, nurturing, caring and respectful relationships between parents/carers and their children.
  • Triple P: supports parents/carers to understand and respond to their child’s behaviour and emotions and promote resilience and confidence in their child.
  • Tuning Into Kids:  nurtures a positive parent-child relationship, helping parents/carers respond to their own emotions and helping child/ren to manage their emotions.
  • Parent-Child Mother Goose: supports parents/carers of at-risk families to build skills and confidence to strengthen the parent-child relationship. It is run in a play-group style setting. 
  • Parents Under Pressure (PUP): helps parents/carers of families with complex challenges to develop positive and secure relationships with their children.
  • Safe Care: Designed for parents of young children aged 0-5 years at risk of neglect and abuse. The program focusses on building strong and positive interactions between parents and their children, child health and home safety.
  • smalltalk: is a set of strategies embedded in supported playgroups which introduces parents to a small number of parenting essentials that, based on evidence, lead to optimal child outcomes. smalltalk helps parents to become aware of the importance of the everyday interactions they have with their child.

How to access

Contact your local council or Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) and ask about the parenting programs available in a family's area.


  • AIFS produced a practice sheet to support practitioners assess and respond to the needs of parents/carers who are seeking support in their parenting role. Key elements of three parenting education programs are summarised as well as a series of practice considerations when determining how best to support a parent/carer.  
  • MCRI’s Centre of Research Excellence in Childhood Adversity and Mental Health completed an evidence-based review which provides a summary of interventions to prevent adverse childhood experiences and reduce their negative impact on children’s mental health.