The Evidence Portal

Life skills development and education

Flexible activity

In this activity, parents are taught practical life skills. The skills taught should assist parents to achieve positive economic and material wellbeing. It could include supporting parents to find employment, further their education, budgeting skills etc. 

The type of support provided and the skills that are developed must depend on the client’s needs and situation. 

Supporting parents to develop these skills can enable them to obtain financial security, secure housing, job satisfaction etc. which all play an important role in people’s overall wellbeing. 

How can it be implemented?

Supporting parents to attain life skills is typically conducted in home visits. The type of support provided will depend on the skills parents need. It could include:

  • financial literacy and management skills
  • healthy lifestyle and nutrition
  • support to obtain secure and appropriate housing
  • support to find and maintain employment
  • support to enrol in education and complete a course/degree
  • support to access necessary services and resources

This support could be provided directly by a case manager, or the case manager could refer the client to other appropriate services. If referrals are conducted the case manager should ensure the client has the capacity (e.g. motivation) and resources (e.g. transport) to follow through with the referral. You should use your professional judgement to determine which approach is most appropriate for your client/s.

In this activity, home visits are typically conducted weekly, for 1-2hrs. The frequency can be reduced as needed. Visits can be supplemented with telephone calls as need.

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

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 support parents to cope with stress have been implemented with a number of different target groups. Key characteristics include:

  • Parents on methadone maintenance and with children aged 2-8 years old.
  • Families at risk of child maltreatment
  • Teenage parents at risk of child maltreatment

What programs conduct this activity?

  • The Colorado Adolescent Maternity Program supports teenage parents to graduate high school and pursue careers. The program seeks to actively prevent teenage parents from dropping out of school.
  • In the New Zealand Early Start Program, home visitors encourage family economic and material wellbeing. They support parents to use budgeting services and encourage workforce participation and forward economic planning.
  • The Parents Under Pressure (PUP) Program includes a home-visiting module on ‘Life Skills’. This module teaches parents practical life skills, where needed. For example, financial planning and budgeting, diet and nutrition, health care and exercise.

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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