What raisingchildren.net.au believes
raisingchildren.net.au believes that parents and carers are best placed to decide what’s right for their children and families based on their own values, circumstances and lifestyles.
We also believe that parents can make good decisions when they have information based on the best science in parenting and child health and development.
What raisingchildren.net.au does
raisingchildren.net.au provides up-to-date, evidence-based, scientifically validated information about pregnancy, raising children from birth to 18 years and caring for yourself as a parent or carer. We gather this information and translate it into plain language with real-life examples.
Based on the evidence, we also give parents and carers practical ideas to apply in their own situations – but we don’t tell them what to do.
Our evidence-based approach means that we offer facts with no hidden agendas.
Who raisingchildren.net.au is for
The raisingchildren.net.au website is for all parents, parents-to-be and carers throughout Australia. Parents and carers in other countries might also find relevant information on our site.
raisingchildren.net.au is also for professionals who work with and support parents and carers – general practitioners, child and family health nurses, early childhood educators, preschool teachers, school teachers, social workers, psychologists and so on. Professionals can refer parents to the site or download and share its information with the families they work with.
Where raisingchildren.net.au content comes from
Working with more than 400 top Australian and international experts, raisingchildren.net.au produces our own content based on the most up-to-date research.
How raisingchildren.net.au ensures reliable, scientifically validated content
All content on the website passes through a rigorous quality assessment process developed by the raisingchildren.net.au content team and its Scientific Advisory Board. Made up of some of Australia’s pre-eminent experts in child health and development, the Board oversees the website’s content development.
The quality assessment process ensures that each piece of website content is approved by at least 2 independent experts for accuracy and validity. A professional web editing team also assesses each piece to ensure the information is easy to understand, remember and act on.
We regularly review and update published content to ensure it remains current.
How raisingchildren.net.au handles controversy
We acknowledge that many parenting and child health and development issues can be controversial. Researchers, practitioners and parents sometimes disagree about parenting practices.
Our approach to controversial issues is guided by 2 key principles: the strength of the scientific evidence, and the need for balance. This means that when there’s controversy, we acknowledge it. And if there are scientifically valid arguments on both sides of a controversial topic, we present both sides so that people can make their own decisions.
Our Scientific Advisory Board:
- helps us clarify the science on a specific issue – for example, by advising us on what is and isn’t known
- lets us know about new research that we should take into account
- suggests ideas and options that we should present
- advises us on the strength or weight we should give to particular recommendations or advice.
How raisingchildren.net.au writes and speaks
We translate scientific evidence about parenting and raising children into plain language for all Australian parents.
Our writing is pitched at an Australian Grade 7 reading level, after we remove medical or other specialist terms. It’s also consistent with best-practice web writing and accessibility guidelines.
We continually refine our language in line with audience and community expectations. For example, we:
- use identity-first language when talking about autism
- avoid gendered language in general content
- use language that includes, represents and respects LGBTIQ+ people and their families.
How raisingchildren.net.au ensures inclusivity and diversity
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
We recognise the important role of culture and community in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including children. We work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to improve our understanding of Aboriginal culture as well as the information needs of parents and carers so that parents and kinship carers can identify with our resources. We also offer some resources specifically forAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents and carers, developed in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders experts and parents.
Raising Children Network and its member organisations are committed to Reconciliation, and we believe reconciliation is best facilitated through education, action and respect.
Users with low literacy and from language backgrounds other than English
We write in plain language. We have developed low-text, image-rich resources for people who can’t or prefer not to read English – this includes Easy English booklets and Parenting in pictures for raising babies, children and teenagers. And some of our resources are translated into languages other than English.
Users from diverse cultural backgrounds
- recognise the role of culture in parenting practices
- acknowledge the cultural relativity of all parenting information
- support the right of parents to accept or reject information based on their values and beliefs
- offer examples and options that are sensitive to and inclusive of diverse parenting practices
- use culturally diverse images and parent stories
- provide selected articles in languages other than English
- provide selected videos in languages other than English
- provide links to existing high-quality translated information on government websites
- provide information for parenting practitioners about working across cultures.
Users with disability
Our website aims to meet the Web Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and incorporate all relevant WCAG A and AA requirements as endorsed by the Australian Government.
The WCAG 2.0 guidelines aim to improve web accessibility for a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning difficulties, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these.
We recognise and respect the fact that families come in different sizes and shapes – for example, single-parent families, co-parenting families, LGBTQ+ families, multigenerational families, grandparent and kinship carer families, foster families and so on.
We reflect different family types by including:
- examples and options that are sensitive to and inclusive of diverse families
- images and parent stories that show diverse families
- content specifically for different types of families.
Who funds raisingchildren.net.au
raisingchildren.net.au is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services Families and Children Program. From time to time, we also receive funding from other Australian federal or state government departments.
raisinchildren.net.au is run by Raising Children Network which operates as a not-for-profit company. We do not permit advertising, and we do not endorse any commercial products. We do not campaign on behalf of parents, carers or agencies.
History of raisingchildren.net.au
raisingchildren.net.au was established in 2006 with a grant from the then Federal Minister for Families and Community Services under the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy. It was commissioned in response to Australian Government-funded research that found Australian parents and professionals needed free access to credible and reliable parenting information (Centre for Community Child Health, 2004).
raisingchildren.net.au was the first Australian website to draw on a network of national expertise to translate research into practical parenting support. In the early years, the website and a free companion DVD distributed to every Australian family with a newborn, covered children from birth to 5 years. During 17 years of continuous investment by successive federal governments, raisingchildren.net.au has expanded to include information on older children and teenagers, children with additional needs, and pregnancy and birth.