The Importance of Empowerment: New Parents' Experiences of Community Support Services, and the Impact that these Services have on Communities.
Milligan (nee Marshall), B. (2010). The Importance of Empowerment: New Parents’ Experiences of Community Support Services, and the Impact that these Services have on Communities. (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4312
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4312
This thesis has focused on exploring the experiences of families with young children (aged three or under) and the role that community support services play in supporting these families. Previous researchers have found that support provided through community organisations could play a key role in increasing the wellbeing of parents and families. This study has investigated these findings, with the reference to the experiences of New Zealand families, a subject that has not yet been fully explored. The findings from this study demonstrated that community support services were able to increase parents' knowledge and skills; they assisted them in developing social networks and friendships and provided a range of resources for their children. However, when the services provided were not appropriate to the needs of the family, or the participants experienced discrimination and social judgement when accessing services, this lead to the families experiencing increasing levels of stress. The findings of this study mirrored the key ideas which had already been developed from previous research. However, this study also revealed some new theories and conceptions of support which have not been discussed. These included the impact support services can have on families' experiences of stress and the lowered social position which mothers can experience when accessing support. Further research is needed in order to fully explore these issues. In conclusion, this study has reinforced the significant role that community support services can play, in the empowerment of New Zealand families and the successful functioning of communities.
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses