The Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) has released new data highlighting the staggering increase of parents seeking support during COVID-19 restrictions.
Oneplace, an online community services directory saw a 53 per cent increase in parents searching for mother’s groups and family support services in the 2020 January to March period.
QFCC Principal Commissioner Cheryl Vardon said that this comes as no surprise as parents and carers faced unprecedented times navigating the challenges of parenting during isolation.
“This year has had significant changes and challenges for families right across Queensland, especially for mothers and other primary carers of young children,” Ms Vardon said.
“There has been increased pressure on families caring for children at home, while managing financial pressures, loss of connection to friends and family and adjusting to working and schooling from home.
“Between January and March, we saw a 53 per cent spike on last year in the search for mother’s groups and family support services and we expect the need for these services will only continue to rise.
“No mother, father, parent or carer should have to feel that they’re doing it alone so if you have made new connections to services please continue and if you have been thinking you need some support but haven’t yet reached out, please do,” Ms Vardon concluded.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association’s Branch President Kath Angus, whose services are listed on oneplace, has also seen a surge in interest for parent groups across Queensland.
“Since the beginning of 2020 we’ve seen demand climb for our local support groups, even before COVID-19 restrictions commenced. We’ve been running these support groups online, and as restrictions are easing many are reopening face-to-face,” Ms Angus said.
“The building of support networks is so important, especially for first time parents and new mothers. Joining a local support group provides a space for parents to make new friends, chat and get parenting hints and tips, and simply know that they are doing a good job.
“We often have partners, friends, and grandparents come along too. They’re an amazing space for anyone who is raising kids, at any stage of life.”
For more information, or to find parent and mother’s groups in your local area visit www.oneplace.org.au