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Talking to parents

Here are some helpful questions and information for talking to parents.

  • ask parents to share their story about where they came from, ethnicity and languages spoken, religious affiliation, and practices
  • what it is like living in Australia—the best things, the hardest things
  • what challenges they have faced and overcome, and how did they do this
  • what challenges they face today
  • how they feel about living in their community and who are they connected with in the community
  • beliefs, moral values and norms of conduct. For example, cultural notions of a ‘good family’ mean that personal problems are never discussed outside of the family, or in some cultures talking about certain subjects with a member of the opposite sex or a younger person may be inappropriate
  • their perceptions of problematic AOD use, the cause of and ways such problems should be managed. For example, in religious or cultural communities that prohibit the use of alcohol, low-risk drinking messages may be seen as inappropriate.

Talk with parents about

  • their expectations and cultural norms about treatment and recovery
  • what services are available to them
  • who they can connect with to make sure their cultural needs are met
  • the fact that problematic AOD use is seen as a health issue, not a moral or legal issue
  • what they need to attend AOD treatment. Do they need staff support or spiritual support?
  • their rights. Explain that they can request an interpreter at any time and ask how they want information to be provided
  • confidentiality between them and AOD services (to alleviate worries and to be clear about what will be shared and with whom)
  • how they feel about others knowing about their AOD use and treatment
  • how they feel about using a mainstream health service. Are they worried about it?

Watch the following brief video on tips and advice for communicating with diverse communities.

Working with culturally and linguistically diverse CALD communities - Tips and Advice

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