Putting children first: Changing how we communicate with parents to improve children’s outcomes

Putting children first: Changing how we communicate with parents to improve children’s outcomes

Derek McCormack and Lesley Taylor

This webinar discussed new research on ways to communicate with parents to improve children’s development and wellbeing.

This webinar was held on Wednesday 11 September 2019.

A full recording of this webinar is available on our YouTube Channel.

The audio, transcript and presentation slides are available under Event Resources on this page.

A list of resources related to this topic is available on our post-webinar forum.

Parents play a vital role in supporting children’s development and wellbeing, especially in the early years. Similarly, professionals working with families play a critical role in their work to support parents to help children grow up safe and well. However, it can be challenging for practitioners to know how to best communicate with parents in ways that resonate with their experiences and support them in their parenting role.

This webinar discussed new research on effective ways to talk about parenting. It introduced new tools to help put children first in our conversations about parenting, and outline practical steps to help apply this child-centred approach in practice. The webinar also featured case examples to illustrate how this approach has been applied in various ways, including in early childhood settings, youth-serving organisations, out-of-home care services and in rural and remote communities. This webinar is of interest to practitioners, service/program managers and policy makers who work with parents and children.


This webinar was hosted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies' CFCA Information Exchange, in collaboration with the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect and the Parenting Research Centre  in support of National Child Protection Week, 1–7 September 2019.

AIFS, NAPCAN and PRC logo


Featured image: © GettyImages/Imgorthand

About the presenters

Derek McCormack

Derek is a Principal Specialist at the Parenting Research Centre focusing on knowledge translation. In his role, Derek oversees a number of programs and projects, with his core activities including consultation, strategy development, planning and, in many cases, managing the development of evidence-informed resources for a range of stakeholders and clients. For example, Derek has a senior management role in the development of the Australian parenting resource raisingchildren.net.au. Derek’s passion is the translation of research and best practice into the day-to-day practices of parents and those who support them.

Lesley Taylor

Lesley is the National Manager Prevention Strategies and Northern Territory Manager at NAPCAN. In this role, Lesley lives and breathes child abuse prevention. Having worked in front line child protection for more than 10 years, Lesley knows that by the time a child has reached the statutory system, we have already failed them. Instead, Lesley’s work focuses on the need to support families, invest in connected child-safe communities, and embrace a culture of compassion and shared responsibility for the wellbeing of children. Lesley actively advocates for this approach to achieve better outcomes for individuals, families, communities and government budgets.