Topic 4 The first five minutes

Respect is the foundation of effective communication with parents and families. Respect will help you better understand the parents and families that you work with. This includes respect for every family’s:

  • religious and cultural background, values, beliefs and languages – for example, culturally and linguistically diverse families or Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander families
  • parenting arrangements – for example, blended families, co-parenting families, single-parent families and rainbow families
  • gender diversity – for example, respect for parents’ and children’s gender and preferred pronouns
  • choices – for example, where families live, whether their houses are tidy or what their children are wearing
  • circumstances – for example, parents with intellectual disability, parents who are teenagers and families experiencing challenges

In practical terms, respectful communication with parents and families might mean:

  • using ordinary, everyday language rather than professional jargon
  • working with interpreters if you speak a different language from the family you’re working with
  • giving parents information that they can understand – for example, using Easy English resources for parents with low literacy
  • using preferred pronouns with parents and children
  • making sure that your printed resources show images of diverse families – for example, families with two mums and two dads, or families from diverse cultural backgrounds