The Evidence Portal

Building confidence and self-sufficiency

Flexible activity

In this activity, parents are supported to build their confidence, identify and achieve targeted goals and become self-sufficient.  

Parents who feel confident and satisfied with their parenting are in the best position to deal with family or child related issues. They’re also better placed to take on information about how to improve their child’s wellbeing.

How can it be implemented?

Building parents' confidence and self-sufficiency is typically embedded into existing home visits.

It can be achieved by:

  • Identifying small readily achievable goals parents can complete. When parents complete these goals it will build confidence in their parenting and motivate them.
  • Identifying parents' strengths. This can remind parents that they are competent and capable and build their confidence and self-esteem. 
  • Identifying parents' expectations of their child. Parents lose confidence when their child fails to meet their expectations. Ensuring parents' expectations are realistic can help mitigate this. 
  • Developing a plan and setting goals. Acknowledge that each step towards achieving a goal is evidence that the parent is making meaningful change. 

The frequency and length of home visits should be based on the needs of clients. You should use your professional judgement to determine what is most appropriate for your client/s.

Building parents' confidence can be an approach taken throughout all home visits. It may inform all the work that is undertaken with a family. You could also set aside specific sessions that focus on identifying how parents view themselves and building their confidence.

What should I consider when working with Aboriginal people and communities?

Parental self-care and personal development may have different meanings for Aboriginal people.  Connecting with community and kinship networks, going back to country and practising cultures in whatever form that might be is also important to self-care and wellbeing.

Connection to community and culture is a protective factor for the wellbeing of Aboriginal people and so should be foundational to all service provision (Kiraly et al, 2014).

See the Cultural Safety and Wellbeing Evidence Review for further guidance on how to deliver culturally safe services and improve outcomes for Aboriginal people.

Who is the target group?

Activities that build parents' confidence and self-sufficiency have been implemented with a number of different target groups. Key characteristics include:

  • Teenage mothers
  • Families at high risk of child abuse and neglect

What programs conduct this activity?

  • The Colorado Adolescent Maternity Program works with teenage mothers to develop a sense of competency and self-efficacy. Home visitors work with young mothers to identify small achievable objectives. Accomplishing these goals builds the confidence and motivation of mothers to actively manage other aspects of their lives. 
  • The Healthy Families America program builds parent self-sufficiency by developing Individual Family Support Plans. These plans establish goals, identify and re-inforce a family’s strengths, and build problem-solving skills. 
  • The Parents Under Pressure Program includes a module that aims to strengthen parents’ views of themselves. It supports parents to view themselves as competent in the parenting role.

Further resources

Last updated:

25 Nov 2022

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We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future. 

Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.

You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.

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