- Parenting: The process of raising and nurturing children in a family
- Caring: The process of looking after the needs and wellbeing of another person due to their age, illness and/or disability
- Biological parents: The parent who has provided the genetic material, either sperm or ovum, to create a foetus.
- Pregnancy Planned Pregnancy: Planned pregnancies involve a strategic choice on when to parent
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There are physical, emotional and economic impacts that result form this decision. A planned pregnancy is generally better for both the parents and child Unplanned Pregnancy:
- May result from poor knowledge about contraception or the fertility cycle or failure with contraception methods
- Become pregnant due to a consequence of tragic circumstances such as rape
Assisted reproductive technologies: In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT) are examples of assisted reproductive technologies.
This means assistance in terms of expertise and technology is used to aid conception. Social Parents: Many individuals have parenting responsibilities towards a child with whom they do not share a genetic relationship.
Adoption is the process by which legal responsibility of parenting of a child is given to a family or parent other than the biological parent. There are 3 types of adoption:
- The child is already placed with prospective parents, such as a step-parent
- Local adoption & overseas adoption. Adoption of a child with special needs Legal Implications: Adoption Act 2000 (NSW) & Family Law Act 1975 (Commonwealth). All legal rights and responsibilities are transferred from the birth parents to the adoptive parents. The change in parenting is permanent, so the birth parent loses all rights to the child. They may maintain the right to information and contact
- The adoptive parents must be either married or in a de-facto relationship; or the step-parent must have lived with the child for 2 years or more.
- Society’s changing attitudes has resulted in fewer adoptions, due to greater acceptance of single mothers & the use of the contraceptive pill
- Decision of telling the child that he or she is adopted can be distressing to adoptive parents
- The child must overcome feelings of rejection by birth parents
- Adoptive child verses the biological child acceptance if the parents have other children
Fostering: Fostering provides an alternative living arrangement for children whose parents are temporarily unable to care for them in their family * The caregivers are volunteers who are paid a fortnightly allowance to help them meet the needs of the child * Foster care can range from a few days to a few years and includes: * Temporary care, * Respite care * Pre-adoptive foster care * Long term care * A child must be put into foster care if: * They are considered to be at risk of harm Their basic physical and emotional needs are not being met * There may be risk of abuse or exposure to domestic violence Legal Implications: * Foster care is regulated by legislation, such as Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW) * Any person fostering children who is not related to them must have a licence to foster. In NSW a license is issued by the Department of Community Services about various parenting issues * The foster carer make medical decisions or take legal proceedings on behalf of the child Social Implications: Carers must encourage contact with the young persons birth family and accept that he or she will most likely return to their birth family * 30% of foster children have been abused in their biological family * Problems between biological family and the foster child may force the foster family to take a restraining order Step Parenting: * When a man or woman married or forms a de-facto relationship with a partner, who has a child or children from previous relationships, they become a step-parent * New family members need to be accepted, roles and responsibilities must be shared Legal Implications: A step parent has no legal responsibility towards the child * A step-parent who has acted as parent to a child for a long time, and who is now being divorced from the biological parent, may have visitation rights if judge decides that is best for the child’s interests * If a child is adopted by a step parent, rights and inheritance from biological parents are lost Social Implications: Community perception often holds that an intact original nuclear family is superior to any variety of blended family; a stepfamily may be seen as ‘deficient’ form of a nuclear family * Conflict can occur between the child and step parent, primary relationships and responsibilities become a blur * Partners may have different visions of family life and parenting styles that may need to be discussed * Poor relationships with step parents are recognised as a significant factor in causing young people to leave home, with unresolved family issues
Surrogacy: * An arrangement made between a couple who cannot have a baby and a woman who gets pregnant on the couples behalf. The child is handed to the couple after delivery * A woman may need a surrogate If she is: * Infertile * Suffers from a serious medical condition * Uncontrollable diabetes * Cardiomyopathy * Moderate renal failure Surrogacy often means IVF treatment as the surrogate mother may use donor ova or sperm or the partners own egg & sperm * The infertile couple must apply to adopt the child to be listed on the birth certificate as the child’s legal parents * The court must get consent from the surrogate mother to give up parental rights Legal Implications: * Surrogacy is legally a ‘grey’ area in NSW, it is neither prohibited or encouraged * Very specific criteria needs to be established for both parties based on a honour agreement that is not legally binding * Payment cannot be made
Social Implications: * The surrogate mother may have an ongoing attachment to the baby after giving birth * If the surrogate mother goes back on the agreement, there may be great disappointment between the parties * Community accepted may be mixed, as surrogacy isn’t a widely accepted practice * Surrogacy is very costly and may affect the parents economically * Social parents may change their mind and leave the baby with the surrogate mother who may not have the adequate resources or family support Carer Relationships:
Carers are people who look after the needs and wellbeing of another person due to their age, illness and/or disability. Carers may be paid or unpaid. Many circumstances may be planned and lead to a person requiring care, these included: * A planned pregnancy * Adoption or fostering * Grand parenting * Looking after an aged parent Some circumstances may be unplanned and are unexpected and thus afford fewer preparations: * An unplanned pregnancy * Grand parenting * Health problems * Accident * Birth abnormalities When the caring role has been planned, decision-making will most likely be difficult-especially during initial stages * Both planned and unplanned care may require the primary carer to reallocate household roles Voluntary Carers: * Voluntary carers are unpaid, they are regularly family members (parents, partners, siblings, friends or children) * Carers may undertake the caring role for a few hours a week or all day everyday * Some carers are eligible for government benefits * Voluntary carers are often women, with 71% of primary carers & 54% of all carers in Australia being women Paid Carers: Paid carers undertake the role of caring as a form of employment and therefore receive financial payment * Types of paid carers can include: * Family day carer * Nanny * Doctor * Foster carer * Teacher * Nurse * Palliative carer Managing Parenting and Caring Responsibilities: * With effective management strategies, a person is more likely to be able to achieve goals * Physical, social, emotional and economic changes will need to occur during preparations for becoming a parent or carer Physical preparations:
Biological Parenting: * Optimise physical health before conception and during pregnancy * Maintain a healthy, balanced diet and develop awareness of special needs during pregnancy * No use of alcohol or tobacco and other drugs * Participate in regular exercise * Attend regular paternal courses to learn about physical and emotional needs during pregnancy and birth * Attend regular appointments with a general practitioner to monitor the baby’s growth and development and undertake ultra sounds and other tests Social Parenting: The physical preparations for social parenting are often similar to the first 4 points of biological parenting Caring: * Participate in regular exercise to maintain optimum physical & emotional health * Maintain a healthy, balanced diet to ensure physical needs are met as caring can place a strain on wellbeing * Practise safe lifting skills to assist with the mobility needs of the dependent * Practise how to give an injection or use an oxygen mask * Investigate and install physical aids in the home, such as railings and ramps Social preparations:
Biological Parenting: * Attend prenatal classes to meet others in the same situation- these friendships may continue after delivery * Investigate child friendly social activities in the local area * Locate parenting groups in the community * Organise baby free-time with partner Social Parenting: * Develop relationships with other parents, such as through child’s sport and recreational activities * Locate parenting groups in the local community * Arrange child-free time with partner to develop and maintain own relationship Caring: * Enlist the support of family members Identify necessary support groups, such as carers of people with dementia or cancer * Be aware of support groups, that cater for cultural and language differences * Let close friends know about the situation Emotional preparations: Biological Parenting: * Discuss moods and emotions with partner, family & friends * Investigate and practice relationship techniques Social Parenting: * Discuss the concerns, fears and thoughts with the partner and other parents to identify with others and gain insight into possible actions and solutions * Recognise if help is required from a formal or informal support network Caring: Enlist in a support group to deal with varied emotions * Make friends with others in a similar situation-often carers lose touch with family and friends * Grieve for changed personal situation but be aware of potential for depression and sources of help Economic preparations: Biological Parenting: * Plan for financial management; prepare and stick to a budget * Analyse and adjust finances, such as mortgage payments * Investigate maternity and paternity leave and provisions in the workplace * Investigate payments from Centrelink Social Parenting: * These actions are similar to the ones above Caring: Plan for financial management; prepare and stick to a budget * Analyse and adjust finances, such as mortgage payments * Investigate leave provisions in the workplace Factors influencing resource management in the caring relationship: * The values and goals of parents and carers within relationships, such as families, provide the incentive for management and will therefore impact decision-making * Age, skills & capabilities and special needs of the dependent will influence both the resources identified by the parent or the carer and the strategies selected to effectively manage their parenting or caring role Age: The age and maturity of the dependent will determine the level of care required * If a child has a disability or illness, it may not be possible to leave them on their own at any time * An aged person may not require care just because they are elderly Skills & Capabilities: * Once the dependent has developed a variety of personal skills and capabilities, it will be possible for he or she to contribute to the relationship and management resources * Skills may need to be interchanged or substituted
Special Needs: * Special needs can refer to those of the dependent or the carer and can affect what services are needed either temporarily or permanent * Modifications mays be needed for housing in the form of ramps and railings * The parent may have the special needs and the young person is responsible to act as a carer * Services such as Centrelink payments may be required Resources: * The resources that require management and prioritisation most often are time, energy, finance and housing. Access to services such as support networks is vital * Negotiating and using these resources can lead to difficulties in the caring relationship Time: * The personal care of dependents, such as feeding and washing * Developing close relationships * Communicating and sharing activities * Personal pursuits (transporting children to sports training) Energy: * Feeding, changing and playing with infants * Transporting adolescents to leisure activities Shopping and providing house maintenance for an aged parent * Feeding and lifting a child, such as one with a cerebral palsy Finance: * Finance is required to access many other resources required for parenting and caring such as material goods and formal support networks * Circumstances of the dependent relationship will determine the demands on finances Housing: * Suitable housing is required to meet the needs of the dependent and carer * The family home may require modification Other housing choices can include a hostel or nursing home Access to Services: * Educational: schools and pre schools * Health: doctors, hospitals, early childhood centres * Homecare assistance: Meals on Wheels, home care * Recreational: libraries, sporting clubs and dance groups * Financial: Centrelink * Housing: Department of Housing, nursing homes and hostels, Ronald McDonald houses * Transport: community transport, maxi-taxis * Spiritual: church, synagogues, mosques Management strategies: The actions that will assist when the management of a specific situation is required * Strategies may be utilised together to achieve the desired goal: * Management decisions involve the use of resources to achieve goals * The two most important factors that affect decision-making are the values of the family and the resources available to them * Values determine that goals will be set and resources determine how well the goals will be achieved * Management strategies that are a starting point for action as the need to be applied to situations that are in need of managing: * Identifying values Setting and prioritising goals * Establishing standards * Identifying resources and using them wisely * Maintaining a positive attitude * Encouraging cooperation * Aiming to have flexible attitudes when necessary * Sharing role allocation * Having effective time management * Developing sound planning procedures * Establishing routines * Using a problem-solving approach Recognising ‘change’ not whether it is good or bad Parenting and caring relationships: Roles in Parenting and caring: * A variety of people play a role of parenting and caring within society. This role is associated with meeting the needs and wellbeing of the individual in care, as well as modelling behaviour that is acceptable to the wider society. Individuals and groups who adopt roles: Parents: Biological and social parents play an important role, the importance of providing love, support and encouragement as well as providing physical needs * Overtime the parenting role is increasingly shared between parents compared to the past as the female taking responsibility of the care of the child at home * Non- custodial parent: the one who may have the child visit on the weekends and holidays parents (divorced/separated parents)
Grandparents: * Child-rearing: passing on family traditions and culture * Children develop special affection for and interest in their grandparents * Increase emotional wellbeing, self-esteem, self-confidence * Grandparents may meet the needs of family members by assisting in childcare for their grandchildren * Valuable in providing economic, social & emotional support Relatives, including siblings: Members form extended family can provide support to parents by being alternative role models meaning for sporting activities or leisure * Many adolescents take on responsibility for younger siblings baby sitting, transport, cooking Teachers, including childcare staff: * Physical needs providing play activities and encouraging a balanced diet * Intellectual needs teaching skills and knowledge * Social needs providing encouragement and support in learning to work ith others, following school rules and resolving conflict * Cultural needs teaching children about the culture in which the way they live, history & traditions * Emotional needs developing self-esteem of students through recognition and rewards, as well as teaching resilience and coping skills * Spiritual needs some schools a particular faith is taught and students have the opportunity for prayer, worship and fellowship Paid Carers: The most convenient and expensive form of childcare is a nanny, the child can develop a bond with parents are constantly absent * Carers provide assistance to the aged, chronically ill or disabled Homecare helping with cooking and housework Significant others: * Doctor can provide immunisation and treat illnesses within children or assist with mental health issues * Neighbours and friends may provide practical assistance or occasional care for children if parent needs to run an errand * Social workers improve the socio-emotional wellbeing of a child or dependent by explaining the situation.
The assist with the child, dependent, parent or carer to develop strategies to deal with hard situations Significance of gender roles and parenting: * The mothers roles was originally: nurturing and feeding while the father was the provider and the disciplinarian * It has dramatically changed. E. g. fathers can receive paternity leave, to allow the bonding process with his child to begin earlier. Men also participate in more tasks at home to make sure the household functions correctly * Discipline and financial providers are seen as more shared responsibilities in contemporary families
Factors influencing parenting and caring relationships: Age: * Age of parents and carers can influence the relationships developed with those in their care * With age comes experience * Older adults may have carefully planned for parenting to occur at a time when finances and relationships are stable * Size of age gap can influence the relationship when the age gap is smaller, closer relationships can develop Culture and religion: Many people are born into a culture which beliefs and customs are passed from one generation to another * Persons culture can be significant influence on nurturing and the development of parenting and caring relationships as sharing culture and belief can be a source of bonding * In the multicultural society conflict can erupt in relationships when cultural norms are different to one another * Adolescence and early adulthood can be a time when people are searching for identity, with religious exploration being a part of the process * Carers need to respect the religion and values of their dependents observant of their faith Education: * The form of education may very from formal schooling to specific courses offered at TAFE. An educated parent or carer is more likely to be aware of support services available and have the confidence to use them * If a carer is formally qualified or has significant experience in caring, the dependent will usually have a higher quality of care offered Gender: * Because of socialisation, people of different genders behave distinctly and this carries through parenting and caring roles * A child’s concept of ‘female’ and ‘male’ develops from observing parents behaviour * Demonstrating flexibility in household responsibilities linked to gender roles, reflects in less conflict and greater cooperation * Expectations of parents hold for their children will influence their interaction with them and the other gender * In caring professions such as nursing, teaching and social welfare majority are females Previous experience and upbringing: If a person comes from a positive family life and experiences this will be repeated for their own children feel more secure and valued and leading to stronger bonds * Negative experiences may lead the parent to reconsider the values from their own experience and upbringing Socioeconomic Status: * Is influenced by the income received, level of education & the occupation of the parents * Some parents with high incomes are forced to work longer hours with less involvement in their children’s lives * A lower socioeconomic family enjoys low-cost recreational activities, such as bowling or camping opportunities for effective bonding and communication Media: The media pervades all aspects of life in our society, individuals are exposed to behaviours and opinions that are expressed on television, radio & internet * Parenting and caring relationships may emulate interactions in relationships in the media without even realising that they are doing so * Internet websites such as Facebook and MySpace can interrupt with ‘family time’ Style of parenting: Authoritarian: * characterises a demanding and inflexible parent who usually has a preconceived goal to achieve * allow children to put little input into decisions that may affect them * this can result in the child being resentful and distant * ‘My way or the highway’ Democratic: * this style invites all family members to have a say in decisions made * children feel appreciated, especially when their ideas form part of the solution
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