A key aspect of our work at the Parenting Research Centre involves building the evidence base for parenting support.
We work in partnership with government and non-government agencies to help tailor, implement and evaluate evidence-based approaches so that services can deliver more effective support to families. However, little is known about the extent to which Australian services use evidence-based practice in their work with families, or about what influences their use of evidence in their day-to-day work.
To this end we conducted a large-scale, Australia-wide survey of 255 practitioners who provide family support.
This first-of-its-kind survey examined factors that play a role in the uptake of evidence-based practices. These factors covered organisational, practitioner and client characteristics that influence the use of evidence-based programs and practices, including the following:
- organisational context: size, clients, caseloads and staff support
- practitioner characteristics: attitudes, education and experience.
- Government and non-government agencies in Australia tend to offer the same type and amount of support to staff to promote their use of evidence-based practices.
- Government agencies provide more frequent training and events.
- Australian findings differ from United States findings that suggest that support is stronger in non-government agencies.
Our research is now informing our work with government and non-government agencies who are looking for extra support to implement evidence-based programs and practices in parenting support.