Last year Ladder was invited to complete a research project with the Latrobe Health Assembly on the feasibility of a parent program to be delivered simultaneously with the Step Up Latrobe Valley program.

The scope of this project included an environmental scan of existing services, a literature review and interviews with parents, carers, guardians, current and past Ladder Step Up program participants and key service providers. Evidence and findings from the research project showed that there was a community need for a parent program to be facilitated in the Latrobe Valley.

Ladder provided a report with the recommendation that a parent program be funded and piloted for two years. The board of the Latrobe Health Assembly granted the proposal and have funded Ladder’s first parenting pilot program, Surviving Adolescence.

Ladder’s Surviving Adolescence parent program will run on a Tuesday evening for seven weeks and is currently in its second week. The program has received great engagement from the parents who are participating with 100% advising that they are feeling 'hopeful' after the first session.

“This program shows that there is hope and help, no matter how hopeless it feels at times." – Surviving Adolescence parent program participant

“It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one having to deal with these issues” - Surviving Adolescence parent program participant

The first session focussed on getting to know each other and parents shared that the biggest concern they had about parenting was fear of failing. They identified short and long-term parenting goals and learned about the adolescent brain. The second session identified their parenting styles, values and understanding the balance of responsibility. At the completion of each session, parents are given a task to complete with their child/children and feed back to the group at the following session.

“I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone, but felt safe still” – Surviving Adolescence parent program participant

“I feel empowered. Ladder staff are great leaders. They listen and understand” – Surviving Adolescence parent program participant

Ladder is grateful for the parenting pilot program and to not only be able to support young people in the Step Up Latrobe Valley program, but to extend that out to the community to include their parents, carers and guardians. This program will provide a holistic approach to strengthen relationships within the family structure and to provide hope to parents, carers and guardians.

"It’s a great intimate group and space. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to next week." – Surviving Adolescence parent program participant

We thank the Latrobe Health Assembly for making this parenting pilot program possible and we look forward to continue working with them to support parents, carers and guardians in the Latrobe Valley community.