Communities and Justice

Taking care of yourself

To take care of children, parents need to take care of themselves. You are important to your child. If you are struggling, sad, scared or unsafe, your child may feel the same.

Sometimes, children end up getting hurt because of hard things a parent is trying to overcome such as mental health issues, experiences of trauma and violence, or struggles with drug and alcohol use. The key to safety at home is working with you to find your strengths to support good parental health, wellbeing and safety. If you as a parent can access the right support, there is a greater opportunity for your child to be safe.

Circumstances in people’s lives change over time. Things can be hard because of grief, job loss, relationship issues or health problems. These challenges do not define you or mean things will always be this tough. If there are challenges that you are facing that are getting in the way of you being the parent you want to be, you have the right to ask for what you need.

Some challenges you might be facing:

  • You feel sad, tired or sick to the point where you can’t get your kids ready for school or feed or change them
  • Someone is hurting you or your child
  • Your own experiences of trauma and violence are affecting you
  • Someone is controlling what you do, say, who you can see or how you spend money
  • You are having bad thoughts or thinking about dying
  • You are using alcohol or other drugs to help get you through the day, to cope with things that have happened to you or to feel okay
  • You do not have enough money to get food, pay bills or buy your child clothes
  • You have disability or illness that gets in the way of doing things for your child

When you are ready, speak to the caseworker about how you are feeling and how you would like to be supported. You can ask a support person to do this with you.

There are often parent support groups for people who have been through situations similar to your own. 

See what support services are available to you.

Last updated:

27 May 2024