Mums and Dads across Queensland are urged to call 13Family (13 32 64) for extra support when times are tough this Christmas.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said the festive season could be a challenging time for many Queenslanders as they struggled to meet both family and financial pressures during the school holidays.

“Many families struggle with the extra pressures associated with this time of year,” Ms Fentiman said.

“The best thing to do is to ask for help when you need it. Simply call our 13Family (13 32 64) hotline and get connected to the right service at the right time.

“This means families who need advice – or more hands-on support – can be linked up with their local, community-based Family and Child Connect service.

“No problem is too big or too small. Whether you’re having issues with family relationships, budgeting, housing or other concerns, Family and Child Connect can provide information, advice and support to keep families safe this Christmas.”

Ms Fentiman, who today visited the North Brisbane Integrated Family Support service, said the hotline received more than 25,000 calls for help from Queensland families between January and October.

“In that time, Family and Child Connect services have linked more than 7000 families with specialist support and provided information, advice and resources to more than 5500 Queensland families,” Ms Fentiman said.

“This includes linking families to places like the North Brisbane Integrated Family Support (IFS) service, where almost 400 local families have worked in partnership to resolve domestic and family violence issues, get mental health support and practical parenting skills like cooking, budgeting and learning how to manage difficult behaviour.

“This is a fantastic service designed to help parents boost their practical parenting skills and this is just one of many ways we are working with families so they can get the help they need earlier, before small problems become big ones.”

Act for Kids Executive Director of Services, Dr Katrina Lines, said it was important families ask for help if they need it by calling the 13Family hotline.

“Together with other community organisations and supported by the government, we run the Family and Child Connect service, which can be accessed by anyone who is struggling or who knows a family that is struggling, over Christmas,” Dr Lines said.

“There are a number of ways families can look after themselves over Christmas and a lot of it just comes down to making good decisions for them and their kids.

“Setting a budget and sticking to it so you don’t overspend, keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum, making sure kids are getting plenty of time outdoors and away from their devices to let out all their energy.”

The Palaszczuk Government provides more than $1.5 million a year to support the work of Act for Kids and Communify at IFS Brisbane North.

Ms Fentiman said all parents could brush up on their skills and access expert advice over the holidays by undertaking the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program.

“Triple P is available free of charge to all Queensland parents and carers of children up to 16 years,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Regardless of your situation, Triple P can give you practical ways to parent more effectively and give your children the best opportunities to reach their full potential.

“Make 2017 a great year for your family by taking part in Triple P.”

For more information:

Family and Child Connect:

o    Call:  13FAMILY (13 32 64)

o    Visit:  www.qld.gov.au/community/caring-child/family-child-connect

 Triple P

o    Visit:  www.qld.gov.au/community/caring-child/positive-parenting

 

Media contact:

Minister Fentiman:             0400 774 303

Act for Kids:                         0409 751 622