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Pages tagged "Resources"

Protective Skills - Parents Guide

We all want our kids to feel safe - POSH is a practical guide to helping them feel protected.


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Separation Support Guide

When a relationship breaks down, this guide provides advice specific to the unique needs of LGBTQ+ families.


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Pen Pal Club

We have started a pen-pal club with Rainbow Families USA!

Children can learn about another culture, share their own stories about their family and culture in Australia, have an opportunity to make a lifetime friend or two, improve their non-electronic communication skills, even learn how international post works!
With this program, children and young people aged 5 to 16 from the US and Australia will sign up and answer a couple of questions (age, interests, address, parent/guardian  approval). As registrations come in, we will match children and young people based on their age range and shared interests.

Click here for additional info and signup form. 

Parents:  Encourage your younger kids to participate!  They can even draw a picture or two, or get help from a parent or guardian with writing a little story about themselves.   There’s a real delight when they see an envelope arrive with their name on it, and this is a great lesson in patience as well…no immediate gratification here.  All registrations and communications are handled through a parent/guardian.

Check out this great video explaining more about the program

We will communicate (via email, only with parents) when a pairing is made.   The email will be sent to both families (together), with the children’s names, mailing address, and the parents’ name/email.   At that point, Rainbow Families will step out of the process unless one of the participants wants to leave the club and request a new pen pal.  Parents are welcome to communicate with one another via email if needed. 
All people involved will agree to respect, kindness and no bullying/harassment.


Celebrate #StrongSafeFabulous Relationships this Mardi Gras!

We invite you to celebrate #StrongSafeFabulous relationships in a new social media campaign to launch on the 1st of March.

Developed by Prosper (Project Australia) and Rainbow Families, the campaign addresses gendered violence in rainbow families across Australia and invites all members of the community to celebrate #SafeStrongFabulous LGBTQA+ relationships.

Get Involved

Simply take a photo of your #StrongSafeFabulous family, and share it on social media - don't forget to #StrongSafeFabulous 

“Unfortunately domestic and family violence occurs at similar if not higher rates amongst sexuality and gender diverse communities than in the general community” says Prosper (Project Australia)’s Executive Director, Karen Craigie. “However, we know that we can change the picture and prevent violence. Whether you are a member of the LGBTQA+ community, an ally, friend, family member or supporter, we want everyone to get involved in celebrating #SafeStrongFabulous LGBTQA+ relationships.”

A suite of fabulous social media tiles and frames have been developed for sharing during the campaign and members of the community can participate by snapping a picture of their relationship and sharing with the tag #SafeStrongFabulous.

The initiative is part of the Rainbow Families Family Violence Prevention Program – a multi-year effort to engage LGBTQA+ families in the prevention of violence by supporting positive, equal and respectful LGBTQA+ relationships and communities, promoting pride in LGBTQA+ bodies, identities, families and relationships, and raising awareness and community capability to respond to violence.                                                         

Download #SafeStrongFabulous social media tiles, social media frames or program resources here

We want all families to be equal

Our families experience many forms of discrimination, and we don’t think that is OK. One of the ways Rainbow Families supports LGBTQ+ parents is to work to remove this discrimination for our community.  

Cathy Brown has headed up our advocacy work for the past few years and had decided it is time to hand the reigns over to someone new. We have a position on our Board for a new advocacy lead.

Tasks include

  • Working through the recommendations in our two reports into discrimination our families face from government
  • Preparing submissions for parliamentary enquiries
  • Consulting with our community to establish advocacy goals
  • Working with other organisations to remove discrimination for LGBTQ+ families
  • Leading our advocacy committee

If you are interested in taking on this advocacy position, please contact us. 

Trans And Gender Diverse Resources

At Rainbow Families we acknowledge families are created in various ways. We also acknowledge that not all parents identify as “mum” or “dad”, and some parents may be exploring their gender identity, or transitioning. We also acknowledge some parents may have a child or teenage who is exploring their gender identity, who may identify as transgender and/or non binary or gender diverse (TGD).


Here are some wonderful resources including some groups.

TransHub is a comprehensive resource for anyone with a TGD family member or friend, as well as for members of the TGD community. 

For TGD parents

Rainbow Families Gender Diverse Parents Facebook Group


Trans and Gender Diverse folks and their supports and allies.


The Gender Centre


Relationship peer support

Australian TGD Peer Support has two groups. One is for those in the relationship, the other group is for non-transitioning partners and ex partners. There are also a number of parents in these groups as well.


There is also a full list of resources on this page.



For parents who have children or teens who are trans and/or gender diverse

For children

Parents of Gender-Diverse Children


For teens



For YOUR parents


Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gays (PFLAG) who, despite the name, do cover families of TGD people as well.


The NSW Gender Centre run groups specifically for parents.


We hope this helps!

5 ways to encourage positive mental health for your kids after separation

While separation or divorce can be a difficult period of change for all family members, children often have a particularly tough time adjusting. It’s natural to worry about how your new family situation will affect your kids, but don’t worry; there are many strategies you can implement to help them cope and to ensure that every family member emerges from this period of adjustment with a positive outlook.

Here are five ways you can build a positive, supportive relationship with your children while you’re undergoing this tough transition.


  1. Encourage supportive communication

Many children will have questions about their ever-evolving family situation, and the best way to show your support is to talk with them honestly and openly about what’s going on. Open communication can include regularly asking them how they’re feeling about specific situations, sharing some of your feelings with them, and making dedicated time and space for private conversations.

When you’re talking with your child about these matters, be aware of your body language. Try to stay relaxed, with an open stance (uncross your arms and legs), maintain natural eye contact to show you’re actively listening, and offer physically supportive gestures such as hugs and gentle hand holding where appropriate.


  1. Rely on routines

Routines can help provide some predictability when other aspects of your child’s life are a bit wonky, so try to maintain some of the activities that formed part of your everyday family life. Even though something as new and challenging as co-parenting might now be your reality, you can still create some sense of stability for your child.

Try a combination of old and new routines, such as family dinners on Wednesdays, school drop-offs by one parent in the morning or soccer practice pick-ups by the other parent. Unknowns and unpredictable situations can often create anxiety, so having a few things your child can rely on can help them to handle any feelings of distress.


  1. Be sensitive to their emotions

Children of all ages are constantly being challenged by new environments. The teen years can be difficult to navigate in general, with their many hormonal changes and mood swings. A separation or divorce can often intensify these feelings for your child, so it’s important to understand the range of emotions they can experience during this period, such as anger, sadness and even anxiety.

If they choose to reach out to you for help, try to be patient with them and sensitive to all of these reactions. Give them your full attention when talking with them, and make an effort to show them that you understand how hard it can be.


  1. Band together

Although you and your ex-partner are going through your own period of change, it’s important to try to band together to support your child. This shows your teen that although some things are changing, they can always rely on their parents, no matter what.

First, find some strategies that work for you and your ex to ensure you’re on the same page when dealing with your separation. Encourage and help your child to seek out and strengthen their support networks beyond you and your partner. You could also include siblings, extended family members, other trusted adults such as neighbours, or your teen’s role models (sports coaches, teachers and the like). If your teen is comfortable with it, involving their wider network can create more opportunities for support for your child.


  1. Don’t forget to focus on yourself

It’s normal to find this situation challenging for yourself, too. In order to support your family, you also have to remember to take care of yourself. Make time to recharge, both mentally and emotionally. Having a clear mind and healthy body will let you handle any stressful situations more calmly. You’ll be showing your teen your positive communication and coping skills and that you value wellbeing and health. You’ll be a stronger parent and family for it.

Helping kids to stay safe

A new initiative tailored for children living in Rainbow Families is keeping young people safe.

Developed by Prosper (Project Australia) and Rainbow Families, the newly launched program helps young people to understand safety, develop protective behaviours and navigate complex issues, such as anti-LGBTQ+ behaviour, risk taking and early warning signs.

Our focus on children and young people reflects their importance as future community leaders. The behaviours they learn now, the attitudes they pick up at home and at school will shape tomorrow’s world. We want children and young people living in Rainbow Families to identify themselves in the pages of our programming and understand the important role they have to play in preventing violence.

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Love Makes A Family - Podcast

We are launching our podcast all about LGBTQ+ families - Telling the stories of diverse families in Australia. It is an Australian focused podcast providing the community with an audible medium to explore intimate stories of parents and children, to share with Australia and the world. The podcast explores an inclusive narrative of what constitutes a family. And we want you involved for the next season! 

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Separation Guide

Separation can be an isolating experience if you are an LGBTQ+ parent.  Where do you look for guidance if the models for post-separation parenting that you see around you for just don’t fit? How do you access support when the available services don’t seem to respond your family’s needs? Rainbow Families has responded by developing “The Separation Guide”. Like our other resources, the Guide draws on the experiences of community members. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to those who have been incredibly generous in telling their stories and sharing their wisdom from lessons learned. They are doing post-separation parenting in the way that works best for their families.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more than ever, separated parents have had to be flexible and child-focused in co-parenting their children. The changes and ongoing uncertainty regarding work, school and other activities has meant an anxious time for many people and brought additional challenges for co-parenting. While few of us saw this coming, the ability to respond to unforeseen events is the mark of a good co-parenting relationship.

A good co-parenting relationship isn’t automatic though. It takes hard work and time and the willingness to develop good communication. Some parents might not get there for reasons beyond their control and safety should always be the priority. It’s about putting your child first but it’s also about not making things hard for yourself. The way you manage situations from the beginning will establish a foundation for the future.

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