Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Australian Government gives a helping hand to new Mothers

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today launched the new national Bounty New Mother Bags for parents containing vital information about parenting.

“The Howard Government will be inserting copies of the Every Child Is Important booklet into Bounty New Mother Bags which will give parents with newborns tips, advice and strategies on parenting and keeping their children safe from harm,” Senator Patterson said.

“Bounty Bags include product samples for mothers and babies as well as valuable information on baby care, parenting and Government advice on family assistance payments.

“I am also happy to announce the release of an extended version of the Government’s award winning CD ROM Talking Book which provides advice to parents in 11 languages including four new languages.

“This $200,000 initiative is part of the Government’s $1.3 million Every Child is Important campaign, which in partnership with the Australian Childhood Foundation has assisted parents to protect and nurture their children since 2001.

“The Every Child is Important campaign has been rolled out nationally since 2003 as part of a broader $10 million commitment to Early Childhood Initiatives which support the National Agenda for Early Childhood.

“An Every Child Is Important community attitude tracking study last year found that 80 per cent of surveyed parents wanted more information about improving their relationship with their children and that three out of four parents do not believe parenting comes naturally.

“The study also found that most Australians have little understanding about the scale of substantiated child abuse in this country and that few people rated it as a community issue of concern unless prompted.

“Recent reports that child abuse is occurring in Australia every few minutes underline the importance of the need to give parents the necessary skills to protect and encourage their children as well as to cope with the stresses of parenting.

“The Howard Government is responding to these challenges with unprecedented levels of support for Australian families including both financial and practical assistance measures for parents and children,” Senator Patterson said.