31/05/2021 | Michelle Lensink MLC | Better Services

South Australian parents can get support at the click of a button through a new one-stop-shop website set to help them with parenting and child safety advice, preparing for a baby, mental health and domestic violence support.

Launched today, the new ASK website is a Marshall Liberal Government initiative, in close collaboration key stakeholders and parents with lived experienced, including child protection advocate and grandmother Belinda Valentine.

The new ASK (Adults Supporting Kids) website makes it easier for parents or anyone with concerns about the safety of a child to find help by bringing together a range of South Australian-specific services in one user-friendly place.

ASK’s homepage asks parents and would-be parents simple questions including: Do you have a baby on the way? Do you have worries about a child or young person? Are you, or someone else, feeling unsafe? – and then directs them directly to support.

Some of the website’s features include:

  • A chat function for users to ask questions and be connected to services based on their circumstances
  • Advanced search function with options to search by geographic area, key words, service type, suburb or postcode
  • Downloadable guides translated into 12 languages * Listings of 24/7 helplines for a range of different issues
  • A ‘safe quick exit’ button so that any person using the website is immediately diverted to a public website if they need to change their screen quickly

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink urged South Australian families who need support to visit the website.

“Bringing a baby into the world and looking after a child can be challenging and we want mums and dads to know they’re not alone and there is help available if they need it,” said Minister Lensink.

“Our new, one-stop-shop ASK website is an easy-to-use, dedicated place for South Australian parents who need some extra help, no matter what kind of challenge they’re facing.

“From mental health support, to financial concerns and parenting advice, the new ASK website will connect South Australians with the support they need earlier and more easily than before through the click of a button, or a phone call.

“We want to remove the stigma associated with asking for help and offer a safe space online for people to learn more about the services that could make a real difference in their family’s life.

“We’ve listened to direct feedback from parents who told us it can be overwhelming when trying to find information and support in times of need, and how a single website would be a useful resource for others facing similar issues.

“All families should know that it’s OK to ASK for help – so ASK early and ASK often.”

Ms Belinda Valentine, who has advocated for improvements to the child protection system since the tragic death of her granddaughter Chloe Valentine, was a key adviser in the development of the website.

She said ASK empowers people to find a clearer pathway to the information and supports what they may need, when they need it.

“We all know parenting can be a tough job sometimes, especially without information or support,” said Ms Valentine.

“ASK is a grassroots-level resource that gives any adult supporting kids confidence to create awareness of their situation and how they can take action early.”

The Marshall Liberal Government funded $180,000 to develop the new website, plus annual ongoing costs to update the site and fund a chat box, managed by DHS’s tirage service 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

The ASK website will also be promoted on social media, and posters will be displayed across the community, including children’s centres and birthing hospitals, as well as service providers. Parents needing support are urged to visit the website: www.adultssupportingkids.com.au