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Relationship Separation and Help-seeking: Reporting on an Agency Study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-26, 03:38 authored by R Howard, Priscilla Dunk-WestPriscilla Dunk-West, K Natalier
Relationship separation affects many Australians with around 20,000 divorces involving children formalised per year. For profit, government and nongovernment organisations all offer services for separated couples and families. Despite promotion of specialist services such as mediation and child-centred services, which seek to assist families to navigate what is a complex interaction between public and legislative structures, there is little known about the potentially broader array of supports and information people use following separation. Better understanding of help-seeking behaviours for separating couples enables more effective targeted policy and service delivery. Individuals with children accessing a nongovernment-funded program for support during separation (n = 134) were asked to complete a survey that was designed to track their help-seeking behaviour. We found that help-seeking for legal services was more common than seeking help for self-care, but that both were important for many people in the sample. Friendship networks, and medical and health professionals were the most common sources of information and support. We argue that social work has a role in promoting and supporting parents who are separating to access a broader range of informal support networks and professional services.

History

Journal

Australian Social Work

Volume

72

Pagination

375-383

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

0312-407X

eISSN

1447-0748

Language

English

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

3

Publisher

ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD