Published: July 5, 2019

Prguda, E., Burke, K., Antrobus, E., & Bennett, S. (2019). Accessibility of evidence‐based parenting programs in the community: Parents who are involved in the Criminal Justice System encounter barriers to program access. Australian Psychologist.


Emina Prguda, Kylie Burke, Emma Antrobus and Sarah Bennett


The intergenerational cycle of crime is well‐documented and there exists strong evidence that children of offenders are more likely to be involved in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) than children of non‐offenders. Parenting is important to children’s life outcomes, both generally and in the context of offending. However, little attention has been paid to the parenting programs and parenting support services for parents who are involved in the CJS, and this is particularly evident in the community corrections context, both internationally and in Australia. We know very little about the accessibility, uptake, and effectiveness of parenting interventions that are available to CJS‐involved parents in Australian communities, including parents who are ex‐prisoners and/or serving community‐based corrections orders or whose partner is involved in the CJS.
A survey was administered to professional staff from community agencies that provide parenting services in Queensland, Australia (N = 82). The agencies were predominantly identified through an integrated referral service system used by the Queensland Police.
One third of the agencies reported offering evidence‐based parenting programs. The available parenting programs and services are underutilised by CJS‐involved parents. The results point to barriers to service use that pertain to accessibility, such as costs for some evidence‐based services; and differences in how parenting services are delivered to CJS‐involved parents compared to non‐CJS parents.
Efficacious parenting interventions are reaching too few CJS‐involved parents in the community. The findings have implications for service delivery and research.