What is good parenting? The perspectives of different professionals

Philippa M. Eve, Mitchell K. Byrne, Cinzia R. Gagliardi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Defining parenting, and good parenting in particular, is a complex task wrought with ambiguities. This creates problems in agreeing on a standard parenting capacity assessment, particularly in relation to strengths as opposed to weaknesses. To address this lack of consensus, the current study explored the convergence and divergence of different professional groups' opinions on good parenting. A mixed-methods design was employed, with semi-structured interviews and rating scales administered to 19 professionals with experience in parenting capacity assessments. Data were analyzed using a constructivist grounded theory. The findings suggest that, in general, professionals agree on main themes of good parenting, including (1) insight, (2) willingness and ability, (3) day-to-day versus complex/long-term needs, (4) child's needs before own, (5) fostering attachment, and (6) consistency versus flexibility. Within these six categories, individual differences emerged. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Keypoints: -- Describes the importance of parenting capacity Assessments and the variances in practitioner approaches -- Adopts a strengths based approach as an adjunct to the traditional deficits based approach to Parenting capacity assessments -- Contextualises the key decision making issues affecting assessors and decision makers in the judicial system -- Provides a theoretical model on decision makers opinions regarding good parenting and outlines directions for the development of strengths based assessments as a contribution to child placement decisions
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)114-127
    Number of pages14
    JournalFamily court review
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


    • Child Protection
    • Family Law
    • Parenting Assessment
    • Parenting Capacity
    • Professionals
    • Strengths


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