Parenting Skill Development & Education Service

What is the Parenting Skill Development & Education (PSDE) Service

The Parenting Skill Development & Education (PSDE) service is Tweddle’s telehealth Child Protection service combining the strengths and experience of Tweddle’s residential ten day PASD service and 8 week in-home HoPES Parenting Practitioners and Clinicians. The PSDE Service will be operation until PASDS returns to full service on June 29th 2020.

With a focus on infant and toddler mental health, Tweddle has rapidly adapted to the new online world of face-to-face support through telehealth which is crucial given the compounding trauma experienced by families living in higher than normal stress environments during COVID-19 restrictions.

The goals of the service are for parents who are referred from Child Protection and the Child First Alliance in Geelong to enhance their parenting knowledge and confidence, offering them strategies to provide safe and responsive care for their children.

The PSDE service also aims to keep babies and toddlers in regular view of professionals, allowing timely follow up around any risk issues. Regular communication with Tweddle provides families with the confidence through understanding of their child’s cues, developmental stages and social, emotional and developmental needs.

Who is the PSDE Service for?

The PSDE service is for parents and families who have a child or children aged between birth and three years of age in their care, want to actively engage with Tweddle using telehealth and have stable mental health. Parents should not be affected by drugs or alcohol, especially during a time of PSDE service. It is requested there be no recent or current identified concerns for substance misuse and have no Family Violence within the home, or where FV has been identified, the family are engaging with Family Violence services.

Prioritised clients include families and children who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, those under 25 years who are living in a supported environment, have a diagnosed Intellectual Disability, first-time parents with a new born child or parents or families where risk has been substantiated by DHHS.

Who is involved?

The development of the PSDE program aligns with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) ‘COVID-19 Plan for Victorian DHHS funded Child and Family Services’. The PSDE workers will be confident, clear and transparent with family members, allocating appropriate time for building rapport and understanding to cultivate motivation and trust.

Child Protection will be involved as a key partner, responsible for overall case planning decisions while working alongside Tweddle practitioners to reduce risk where possible. While this service provides parenting skill development and education, it does not form a parenting capacity assessment or provide assessment of the associated risk(s) to a child.

How Does it Work?

Tweddle PSDE telehealth meetings, where video-conferencing is available, will allow Tweddle staff to see the child and family. Documented observations will reflect the child’s presentation and environment, ensuring babies and toddlers are kept in regular view of professionals. This focus will be  on developing a therapeutic relationship with parents, providing emotional support, exploring current family functioning and psycho-social stressors, identifying areas of strengths and vulnerability and conducting relevant assessments.

THE PSDE Service Explained:

  • Is a six week service (four weeks intensive and two weeks step down) based on supporting families to strengthen their parenting capacity.
  • Each family will be offered up to two hours of telehealth (video and where required phone) per day and additional text messaging to support the education provided.  The two hours contact will be flexible and can be delivered in multiple telehealth offerings to make sure it is flexible and based on the families and Child Protections goals.
  • Education will be adapted to meet the individual needs of the family. This will commence by assessing the parental literacy levels, preferred learning styles and available technology. The education will be delivered in accordance with the education plan, therefore incorporating the family’s goals, and the age and stage of the child.
  • The Tweddle staff will aim to sight the child at each contact and all observations will be documented with specific comment on the child’s presentation and environment. This will ensure babies, infants and toddlers are kept in regular view of professionals and any risk issues identified .
  • Provides two weekly ‘check in’ meetings which Child Protection will be a part of.
  • A summary and future considerations report will be provided to Child Protection at the end of the PSDE program.
  • Process for risk management and risk mitigation have been established and all staff have reviewed the current instructions from Government under the state of emergency and will continue to review the website DHHS Corona virus.  All staff have completed Covid-19 Infection Control Training https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/covid-19-infection-control-training.
  • Ongoing evaluation will be conducted using an action research philosophy, therefore being able to continually evaluate and develop the PSDE program.
  • Tweddle staff have all the required Information Technology (laptop and phone) to be able to commence the service on Monday.

If you would like to discuss a potential referral or have questions regarding the eligibility of a family, please email  highriskprograms@tweddle.org.au or call the PSDE Program Manager on 0404 472 552.


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