The Co-Parenting Model

Co-parenthood is a shared parenting approach to foster care which supports families to work toward restoration safely.

The co-parenthood model has been developed with extensive consultation of literature regarding reunification and restoration, child maltreatment, child development, parenting practices and effective interventions;

-At the outset, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) partnered with the Australian Centre for Child Protection to undertake a literature review regarding restoration practice in Australia and Internationally.

-With this as a foundation TACSI went through a co-design process with children, parents, service providers and government staff.

-The theory of change, key activities and tools in the co-parenthood model have been developed in reference to the research regarding strategies that work in supporting child and adult development and in addressing maltreatment.

-The model has been prototyped, tested and refined with families.

The co-parenthood model is unique from other models within the restoration and reunification field due to its strong co-design ethic. The materials and activities developed for use on the program are intentionally designed with families, staff and managers to facilitate the translation of research into practice. This means that tools which support best practice are accessible and user friendly, this supports a higher level of fidelity to the model. The program has been designed with ease of implementation and use in mind.

The co-parenthood model aims to contribute to the ultimate goal of interrupting cycles of intergenerational disadvantage.

The Fundamentals

Foundational Evidence Underpinning The Model

The 5 Pillars Of Co-Parenthood

1. The effects of and effective responses to trauma

The co-parenthood model has been informed by research regarding how experiences of trauma and adversity affect child development and our life trajectory as adults. Mounting evidence highlights that the effects of early exposure to adversity and chronic stress can be mitigated, and key components of effective interventions have been integrated into this model. Understandings of trauma inform the importance placed on the quality of the relationship developed between the Family Link Worker (FLW), the carer and the parent. The FLW and carer are provided with training to support them to understand how trauma might affect children’s behaviour and how to respond in helpful ways. Importance is placed upon the FLW and the carer understanding the parent’s own exposure to trauma and adversity and how this has affected their current circumstances and parenting journey. Trauma informed tools are integrated to assist in the navigation of points of difficulty that will arise between the FLW, carer and parents. Key model components: - Psychoeducation to inform FLW, Carer and parent of the effects of trauma and pathways to growth. - Access to parenting strategies that are trauma informed and matched to parent and child context. - Activities and materials are built into the program to address crisis and points of difficulty-these are informed by the sanctuary model and restorative practice

2. Attachment theory and social learning theory
3. Child wellbeing and safety
4. Building parent capabilities
5. Building social capital