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Family-centred road safety practice

Watch Assoc Prof Warwick Teague discuss the importance of supporting children’s transport needs through family-centred practice.

Supporting children’s transport needs through family-centred practice is essential for families’ wellbeing, social and economic participation in the community.

When families leave their home, they enter the road system to participate in the community. The road system plays an important role in reducing poverty and inequities via access to everyday services, education and employment, connecting with friends and family and building social and community connections.

Australian research found that families of children with disabilities travel in a range of vehicles, with the main family vehicle the most commonly used:

  • main family vehicle (97.9%)
  • second family vehicle (50.8%)
  • friend’s or relative’s vehicles (32.6%)
  • bus (28.4%)
  • taxi (7.7%)
  • rideshare vehicles (1.7%).

Family-centred practice

According to the Raising Children’s Network, a family-centred approach is a way of working in partnership with families to better understand their circumstances, and to help parents decide what strategies best suit their children and families.

This approach has some basic principles:

  • support works best when you understand each family’s individual goals, expectations, values and everyday life
  • parents know their children and their family best
  • all families have strengths, and we learn and grow best when we use our strengths
  • children’s wellbeing and development depends on the wellbeing of all family members and of the family as a whole
  • family wellbeing depends on the quality of informal social supports and the availability of formal support services.
The Barron family getting out and about

Embedding road safety practice

For some children and families, embedding family centred road safety practice will be an ongoing activity, requiring forward planning and regular reviews.

Assessing and planning for a child’s motor vehicle transport needs is complex and may rapidly change in response to child and family needs. This requires a proactive, planned approach.

In step 3.3 and step 3.4, we’ll introduce you to key resources and guides to assist with assessing, planning and documenting child and family transport needs.

Embedding these tools into your practice increases the likelihood of keeping children safe in motor vehicles and gives parents greater choice and control when making decisions about their child’s day to day transport.

Your task

Watch Assoc Prof Warwick Teague discuss the importance of family-centred practice. What are some of the challenges of embedding family-centred road safety practice? Post your ideas below.

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Transporting Children with Disabilities and Medical Conditions

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