Cafs Half Yearly Notes

Last Updated: 16 Feb 2023
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Table of contents
  • Parenting: The process of raising and nurturing children in a family
  • Caring: The process of looking after the needs and well-being of another person due to their age, illness, and/or disability
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  • Biological parents: The parent who has provided the genetic material, either sperm or ovum, to create a fetus.
  • Pregnancy Planned Pregnancy: Planned pregnancies involve a strategic choice on when to parent

There are physical, emotional, and economic impacts that result from this decision. A planned pregnancy is generally better for both the parents and the child Unplanned Pregnancy:

  • This 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 fertilization (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 the legal responsibility of parenting 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.

Social Implications:

  • Society’s changing attitudes have resulted in fewer adoptions, due to greater acceptance of single mothers & the use of the contraceptive pill
  • The 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 versus the biological child acceptance if the parents have other children


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 a 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 are not related to them must have a license to foster. In NSW a license is issued by the Department of Community Services for various parenting issues. The foster carer makes medical decisions or takes legal proceedings on behalf of the child.

Social Implications:

  • Carers must encourage contact with the young person's 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 the 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, and 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 a parent to a child for a long time, and who is now being divorced from the biological parent, may have visitation rights if the 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 families, a stepfamily may be seen as a ‘deficient’ form of a nuclear family. Conflict can occur between the child and the step-parent, and 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 recognized as a significant factor in causing young people to leave home, with unresolved family issues


An arrangement made between a couple who cannot have a baby and a woman who gets pregnant on the couple's 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 partner's 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 nor encouraged. Very specific criteria need to be established for both parties based on an honor agreement that is not legally binding.

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 acceptance 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 minds and leave the baby with a surrogate mother who may not have adequate resources or family support.

Carer Relationships:

Carers are people who look after the needs and well-being 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
  • Grandparenting
  • Looking after an aged parent

Some circumstances may be unplanned and unexpected and thus afford fewer preparations:

  • An unplanned pregnancy
  • Grandparenting
  • Health problems
  • Accident
  • Birth abnormalities

When the caring role has been planned, decision-making will most likely be difficult-especially during the 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 every day. 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

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 an 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 ultrasounds and other tests.

  • Social Parenting:

The physical preparations for social parenting are often similar to the first 4 points of biological parenting. Participate in regular exercise to maintain optimum physical & emotional health.

  • Caring:

Maintain a healthy, balanced diet to ensure physical needs are met as caring can place a strain on well-being. Practice safe lifting skills to assist with the mobility needs of the dependent. Practice 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. Organize the baby's free time with a partner.

  • Social Parenting:

Develop relationships with other parents, such as through the child’s sports and recreational activities. Locate parenting groups in the local community. Arrange a child-free time with a partner to develop and maintain your 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 to cultural and language differences. Let close friends know about the situation.

Emotional preparations:

  • Biological Parenting:

Discuss moods and emotions with your 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. Recognize if help is required from a formal or informal support network. Enlist in a support group to deal with varied emotions.

  • Caring:

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 the 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 him or her 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 permanently. Modifications mays are needed for housing in the form of ramps and railings. The parent may have 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 prioritization 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 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 centers.
  • Homecare assistance: Meals on Wheels, home care.
  • Recreational: libraries, sporting clubs, and dance groups.
  • Financial: Centrelink.
  • Housing: Department of Housing, nursing homes, 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 utilized 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 need to be applied to situations that are in need of management:

  • Identifying values Setting and prioritizing 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 the role of parenting and caring within society. This role is associated with meeting the needs and well-being of the individual in care, as well as modeling behavior 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 took the responsibility for 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 a special affection for and interest in their grandparents. Increase emotional well-being, self-esteem, and 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 from extended families can provide support to parents by being alternative role models meaning for sporting activities or leisure. Many adolescents take on responsibility for younger siblings babysitting, transport, and cooking.
  • Teachers, including childcare staff: Physical needs providing play activities and encouraging a balanced diet. Intellectual needs teaching skills and knowledge. Social needs provide encouragement and support in learning to work with 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 the self-esteem of students through recognition and rewards, as well as teaching resilience and coping skills. Spiritual needs, in 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 who are constantly absent. Carers provide assistance to the aged, chronically ill, or disabled Homecare helps with cooking and housework.
  • Significant others: Doctors can provide immunization and treat illnesses in children or assist with mental health issues. Neighbors and friends may provide practical assistance or occasional care for children if a parent needs to run an errand. Social workers improve the socio-emotional well-being of a child or dependent by explaining the situation. The assist the child, dependent, parent, or carer to develop strategies to deal with hard situations.

Significance of gender roles and parenting:

The mother's roles were original: 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 their children 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:

  1. Age: The 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. The size of the age gap can influence the relationship when the age gap is smaller, closer relationships can develop.
  2. Culture and religion: Many people are born into a culture in which beliefs and customs are passed from one generation to another. Person culture can be a significant influence on nurturing and the development of parenting and caring relationships as sharing culture and belief can be a source of bonding. In a multicultural society, conflict can erupt in relationships when cultural norms are different from 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.
  3. Education: The form of education may vary from formal schooling to specific courses offered at TAFE. An educated parent or carer is more likely to be aware of the support services available and has 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.
  4. Gender: Because of socialization, 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' behavior. 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.
  5. Previous experience and upbringing: If a person comes from a positive family life and experiences this will be repeated for their own children to 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Media: The media pervades all aspects of life in our society, individuals are exposed to behaviors and opinions that are expressed on television, radio & internet. Parenting and caring relationships may emulate interactions in relationships in the media without even realizing that they are doing so. Internet websites such as Facebook and MySpace can interrupt family time.

Style of parenting:

  • Authoritarian:

Characterizes 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

Cite this Page

Cafs Half Yearly Notes. (2017, May 28). Retrieved from

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