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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 alcohol and other drugs 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 alcohol and other drugs use is seen as a health issue, not a moral or legal issue
  • what they need to attend alcohol and other drugs 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 alcohol and other drugs services (to alleviate worries and to be clear about what will be shared and with whom)
  • how they feel about others knowing about their alcohol and other drugs 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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