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Why a parent may be reluctant to seek or accept support

While many parents may have concerns about Child Safety being involved in their lives, these concerns can be greatly exacerbated for parents who have mental health issues. A parent’s willingness to work with Child Safety or other services may depend on:

  • the symptoms of their mental health issue or the phase of their illness, especially if they are acutely unwell
  • whether they feel stigmatised and/or fearful by the label of mental illness — this can make it harder for them to talk openly
  • whether they feel shame and unworthiness, which can stop them from seeking help from services or other people
  • whether supports they have received previously have been effective
  • fear of or lack of understanding about departmental intervention.

Support the parent to get the help they need in their role as a parent. Help them to build social connections and safety and support networks that will support their recovery and healing.

Refer to the sections Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and Working with culturally diverse families within this kit for more information about working with these families.

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