ReachOut Parents One-on-One Support is a free coaching service for parents and carers of teens delivered by ReachOut and The Benevolent Society.
Practitioners coach parents and carers of 12 to 18-year-olds over the phone and via an interactive online dashboard, helping them find positive ways to support their teenager and strengthen their relationship.
“It’s a free, confidential service delivered in partnership with ReachOut,” says Sabrina Pezzuto, Team Leader Child and Family Wellbeing Service at The Benevolent Society, Brisbane North and Logan.
“ReachOut Parents One-on-One Support assists parents and carers in responding to parenting challenges in ways that fosters an understanding of the teen’s situation, addresses young people’s needs, and promotes their wellbeing and development.”
Professional coaches offer parents and carers support through the four free coaching sessions by developing action plans that help them navigate any challenges in their parenting role.
The plan is designed around the teen's and family's strengths, providing direction and focus.
“ReachOut Parents One-on-One Support can help parents and carers to create an action plan for challenges, including parent–young person relationship; communication (including anger and conflict); stress and anxiety; social media, gaming or technology use; rules and boundary setting; bullying; friendships and relationships; education, school and absenteeism; self-esteem; and drugs, alcohol and smoking,” Sabrina adds.
The teenage years can pose some of the most difficult challenges for families with young people often dealing with a number of issues, including puberty, peer pressure and friendship issues.
“Over the last six months, the top three themes that have come up in sessions are parent and teen communication and validation; parent and teen connection and relationship; and teen school refusal,” Sabrina says. “The most common risk which parents and carers have discussed in sessions is teen self-harm.”
The collaborative sessions with an individual coach can be spread over several weeks, allowing you time to try new strategies and techniques.
Participants also have access to an online dashboard with a range of interactive tools and resources to support you during and after the sessions, which are designed to improve the mental health and wellbeing of teenagers and their families.
“It is a unique program that seeks to provide parents and carers with a more comprehensive understanding of teen development. The program takes a structured approach utilising a coaching framework. Encouragingly, the feedback from most parents and carers who use the service is that they find the sessions and approach really beneficial,” Sabrina says.
The feedback from families who have accessed the program has been very positive, with many highlighting how helpful the service has been in helping them understand and connect with their teens.
“One program participant said, ‘It has been more helpful than any psychologist we have seen,’” Sabrina says. ”Another said, ‘This program has been fabulous. So good. So practical.’"
The ReachOut One-on-One program is available Australia-wide. You can register for the program and book your own appointment at ReachOut.com/Parents
If you or your family are in need of urgent support, there are a number of services who can help including Lifeline (13 11 14) and Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800). In an emergency call 000.