Changing focus of practice for community health nurses: Advancing the practice role
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Many parents lack support in their parenting role that was once provided through extended families and community structures. Thus, some new parents experience high levels of stress and low self-esteem associated with the challenges of parentig. The lack of support also results in family discord and breakdown with the family environment having the potential to adversely impact children's mental and physical wellbeing and development. The Community Mothers Program (CMP) was initially development in England and offers support to families during the first year of parenting. The program aims to provide parents with the support once experienced from within the extended family. It also aims to enrich community development by building the capacity of community members living in local communties to support parents. This paper describes the impact of the CMP when implemented in Western Australia, as well as the changes to the professional practice role of community child health nurses involved in the program. The Community Mothers Program has proved to be very successful. The success is attributed to the partnership model established between community members, parents and community child health nurses.
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