Dialog Box

CatholicCare Victoria

A successful 'Parenting Together' program

Julia and Lisa, Practioners in our Regional Parenting Program in Bendigo, recently developed and ran a two-session pilot program called ‘Parenting Together’. The sessions completely booked out.

In 2022, the Regional Parenting Program team undertook a large survey about parenting relationships, which revealed that parenting, balancing roles, and communication were the biggest challenges couples faced. 

Through the team’s parenting work, it was also highlighted how different parenting styles can negatively impact couple relationships and subsequently, parenting.

In response to their findings, the team decided it was fundamental for them to design a new program to address these challenges for parents.

‘Parenting Together’ was launched in February this year and is based on the premise that if a relationship is going well, parenting is going well, and vice versa.


The first session utilised Dr John Gottman’s Sound Relationship House as a reference. A concept where a foundationally secure relationship is compared to a house; it has walls and levels that each person builds upon to create strong bonds. 

The team explored the first three levels of the house with parents, before spending the second session on parenting.

 Participants were engaged in information gathering and discussion, working together as a couple to complete activities and reflect.

“It was great to work with couples prepared to invest in their relationship to strengthen the family unit, which we hope will ultimately prevent family breakdown,” Julia said.

With very few opportunities for couples to work on their relationship outside of counselling, this was a unique, group-based program offered by the Regional Parenting team. One couple described it as a great bonding experience for them.

“I loved the way Lisa and Julia validated us and included us within the group. They made us feel heard and their knowledge was great,” one participant said.

The team sought rigorous feedback to evaluate the program, and were happy to hear of immediate positive outcomes for both couples and parenting relationships. When asked if participants would recommend the program to other couples, 100% of participants said yes.

 View Parenting Programs  

29 April 2024
Category: News