Group Facilitation Training Project

Communities for Children Bendigo, in partnership with CatholicCare Sandhurst, have developed a project focused on building the capacity of services (involved in supporting families) to deliver group based parenting programs. This project was rolled out in October 2015 and will continue across 2016.

This project forms part of the Communities for Children Bendigo Action Plan 2015-17 which has a strong focus on supporting activities which help build parenting skills and confidence particularly amongst families who are experiencing vulnerability. The project aims to deliver the following outcomes:

  • Build the skills and confidence of workers in the family support and early years services to deliver group based parenting programs.
  • Promotion of group based interventions as an integral component of family work practice.
  • Increase the range and number of group work programs available to families in Bendigo.
  • Directly support families linked to family support and child protection through the delivery of the ‘Bringing Up Great Kids’

Building the availability of parenting programs compliments and builds on the work being done by agencies in providing support services to families and can be an effective early intervention strategy.

Research shows that group based parenting programs can be highly beneficial and the benefits include:

  • Parents learning how to engage with their children in problem situations.
  • Parents learning how to help their children deal with their feelings and respond to their development needs.
  • Building parents skills in listening more effectively.
  • Parents learning about their parenting approach through reflecting on their own experiences of being parented.
  • Building social connections and natural community supports for parents in their parenting role.

Project Components

1. Delivery of ‘Train the Trainer’ in the ‘Bringing Up Great Kids’ parenting program.

This training will enable workers to deliver ‘Bringing Up Great Kids’ with parents they are working with and/or partnership with other agencies. The ‘Bringing Up Great Kids’ parenting program has

been developed by the Australian Childhood Foundation and focuses on:

  • Enhancing parents communication with their children
  • Promote more respectful interactions between parents and children
  • Encouraging the development of children’s positive self-identity

The ‘Train the Trainer’ sessions in the ‘Bringing Up Great Kids’ was delivered by the Australian Childhood Foundation on October 8th and 9th 2015. The ‘Train the Trainer’ sessions were made available to 25 participants.

2. Mentoring and support in delivering parenting programs

The aim of this component of the project is to build the capacity of the service system to develop and deliver group based parenting programs in Bendigo. Whilst the delivery of individual parenting programs plays an important role in the support of families there is also a need to ensure that group based parenting programs are developed as integral and ongoing part of family support and practice.

This part of the project involves the following components

  • Participation in the ‘Train the Trainer’ sessions for ‘Bringing Up Great Kids’
  • One day workshop focused on building group facilitation skills and working parents in group based situations. The training will involve techniques for effective group work, outcomes that can be achieved through group work and engaging families in a group work program (October 2015).
  • 6 hours of individual mentoring to support participants in delivering a group work program. Mentoring will involve supporting workers in planning & delivering a parenting program and reviewing program outcomes. This mentoring will be provided through CatholicCare (February to May 2016)
  • Participants to facilitate a parenting program as part of the training and mentoring component. This could involve participants co-facilitating ‘Bringing Up Great Kids’ with the support of CatholicCare (2 to be run in early 2016), delivery of a group work program of their choice or joining with Catholic Care in delivering one of their parenting programs.
  • Half day review workshop following the facilitation of a group work program by participants with a focus on capturing the learnings through the project. This workshop will be run in June 2016.

For further information on the ‘Train the Trainer’ in the ‘Bringing Up Great Kids’ and the Mentoring and Support component of the project please contact Narelle Williams at Catholic Care on email:

Or contact John Bonnice:

John Bonnice
Program Manager, Community Capacity Building Unit
p: 03 5430 1200
m: 0419330799