Most parents want the best for their children. Families from all sorts of backgrounds can have problems that put their children at risk of abuse or neglect.
Sometimes parents or carers are struggling with a number of problems – drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues, or money problems. Sometimes they do not have or know how to access the knowledge, skills or support they need to care for their children when things are difficult. These things can make it hard to make good decisions for themselves and their children.
‘I didn't know what else to do, so I said I’d take the children for an hour or two.’
If you notice things may be starting to go wrong for a child or the people caring for them, it’s important to act early – by listening and supporting them, or putting them in touch with people who can help.
Your actions, however small, can make a big difference for a child, their family and whānau.
Ideas for supporting parents
- Smile, say hi, and ask how they are.
- Acknowledge how hard parenting can be.
- Encourage them by telling them when they’re doing a great job.
- Ask them what you can do to help.
- Let them know if you’re able to provide support.
- Offer practical help rather than advice – eg, offer to babysit, or to pick something up from the supermarket for them.
The quotes included in this material are from ordinary New Zealanders who’ve taken action to keep a child safe. Be one of them.