National Families Week – a time to connect or a time to seek support?

April 26, 2021

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and National Families Week (marked 14 – 20 May 2021) is the perfect time to celebrate our nearest and dearest and what they bring to our lives.

Whilst the traditional setup of mum, dad and two children still has its place in Australian society, family units are becoming more diverse and unashamedly so. From same-sex or single parenting, to blended families and adopted ones, having love, feeling a sense of belonging and supporting each other is what matters.

National Families Week aims to celebrate the role that families play in our society, teaching and nurturing children so they become grounded, caring and responsible citizens — the bedrock of our communities.

Perhaps not unsurprisingly, children consider family the most important factor for their quality of life. It helps them form social networks and provides a safe environment to learn and explore.

More than eight in 10 (84 per cent) of us who are Australian-born say we would turn to family for help in times of trouble. National Families Week aims to get us to focus on the meaning of family, encouraging us to spend quality time together. It is an opportunity to connect with relatives nearby or overseas, and thank grandparents for the role they play — with more than 65 per cent providing childcare at least once a week. It is also a time to pay homage to friends who may have become our default family.

At CatholicCare, we recognise that there is strength in all families, but we don’t pretend that being a parent is easy or that family life is always picture-perfect. Life can throw us many curveballs, and we can all do with some help from time to time. It takes courage to admit that you or family members may need some support. It is also a strength – it shows your commitment to your family and its future.

We offer a range of support programs (many free) to help you and your family take positive steps to a more harmonious home life and stronger family bonds.

CatholicCare Parenting Programs

We have a broad range of parenting programs, from those that help you understand how your own upbringing may influence your approach to parenting, to those that arm you with positive strategies for dealing with challenging behaviour, without any shouting and arguing.

There is also specific support available for those parents and children affected by domestic abuse, separation and grief.

If you just want opportunities to meet with other parents, or to discuss your child’s development, there are groups for that too.

CatholicCare Intensive Support Programs

We also offer bespoke, ongoing support for families with more complex needs or facing a real struggle. Our Targeted Early Intervention Program provides tailored, holistic support through a dedicated caseworker. It includes home visits, centre appointments, phone sessions and access to our parenting programs. Families can be referred themselves or by other agencies.

For those situations where NSW Family and Community Services have identified families as being at high risk of harm, we offer Intensive Family Preservation. Caseworkers and families work together to develop safety action plans to reduce risks and help keep children at home. This program is by referral only.


Pledge to make a difference this National Families Week. This could be committing to quality family time, switching off from the stresses of work, or signing up to one of our parenting programs to help you build that happy home environment.

Every family is unique, but we all have something to celebrate.

If we can help in any way, please call 1800 324 924 or visit www.catholiccaredbb.org.au.

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