Emerging Minds

Supporting parents to promote children’s social and emotional wellbeing

About the course

This course explores entry points and opportunities for conversations between practitioners and parents which support children’s social and emotional wellbeing. It specifically focuses on conversations which offer support, reassurance, guidance, information, or resources to assist parents in promoting positive mental health in their child. This is also referred to as ‘anticipatory guidance’. 


Anticipatory Guidance

This module explores important aspects of providing anticipatory guidance. It is specifically aimed at promoting positive social and emotional wellbeing in the children of parent-clients.

Conversations of Support

This module features fictional demonstrations between a practitioner and parent-client. It shows how to explore concerns and provide guidance, support, reassurance, and assistance to help the parent advance their child’s social and emotional wellbeing.

Who is this course for?

This course is for allied health practitioners working with parent-clients where issues or concerns about the client’s children are raised (either by the parent or the practitioner), and where the appropriate response is to offer anticipatory guidance. 

Learning aims

As you progress through this course, you will:

  • explore entry points and opportunities to conduct respectful and collaborative conversations with parents, with the aim of supporting them to promote positive social and emotional wellbeing for their children
  • understand and utilise principles for parent engagement when conducting these conversations
  • reflect on ways to provide support and guidance that is relevant and appropriate to the parent’s, family’s and child’s circumstances 
  • learn strategies to help you provide quality resources and information to parents.

This course is one of a two-part suite of courses, and follows on from the foundation course, Building blocks for children’s social and emotional wellbeing

It is highly recommended that you complete the foundation course first before undertaking this core (practice-based) course. The foundation course provides you with important understandings around children’s mental health; the building blocks for children’s social and emotional wellbeing; factors that can influence a child’s social and emotional wellbeing and development; and the importance of recognising opportunities to provide guidance, quality information and resources to parents to support their children’s mental health.


For the purpose of this course, the term ‘parent’ encompasses the biological and adoptive parents of a child, as well as individuals who have chosen to take up a primary or shared responsibility in raising that child. 

Social and emotional wellbeing’ refers to the way a person thinks and feels about themselves and others. It incorporates behavioural and emotional strengths and is a facet of child development.1

In broad terms, social and emotional wellbeing is the foundation for physical and mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is a holistic concept that results from a network of relationships between individuals, family, kin and Community. It also recognises the importance of connection to Land, culture, spirituality and ancestry, and how these affect the individual.2

‘Social and emotional wellbeing’ is also used by some people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, who may have differing concepts of mental health and mental illness.3

Social and emotional development’ involves the development of skills required to:

  • identify and understand one’s feelings 
  • read and understand the emotional states of other people 
  • manage strong emotions and how they are expressed 
  • regulate behaviour 
  • develop empathy
  • establish and maintain relationships.4


This course features videos of fictional parents and family scenarios. 

As you work through the course, it is important to be aware of your own emotional responses. Please follow the self-care tips below and seek help if needed:

  • We do not recommend undertaking the entire course in one sitting. Give yourself some breaks. Even if you don’t feel that you need a break, it’s a good idea to take one anyway and come back later.
  • Be aware of your emotions as you progress through the course, and take action if you are starting to feel stressed or upset. For example, consider taking a break and doing something for yourself that you enjoy.
  • Be aware of your emotional responses after you complete the course.

If at any point you find you are struggling, please talk with your supervisor, seek help, or call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, or SANE Australia on 1800 18 7263.


  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2012). Social and emotional wellbeing: development of a Children’s Headline Indicator. Cat. no. PHE 158. Canberra: AIHW.
  2. Commonwealth of Australia. (2017). National strategic framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ mental health and social and emotional wellbeing. Canberra: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, p.6.
  3. Everymind. 2020. Understanding mental health and wellbeing. Accessed 07/05/2020. Available here.
  4. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2009. A picture of Australia’s children 2009. Cat. no. PHE 112. Canberra: AIHW.

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