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Education Training, Employment Relations

The ParentsNext program sets families up for workplace success

atWork Australia 3 mins read

Wednesday 5 June 2024

Improved wellbeing, increased work and study opportunities as well as a wider support network are just some of the benefits gained from the ParentsNext program. This support service helps eligible parents prepare for employment ahead of their child starting school.

A recent evaluation of the program revealed that more than half (53%) of participants said participating in ParentsNext had improved their chances of securing a job.1 Meanwhile, 28% of participants were likely to be studying or undertaking meaningful training, compared to 19% of people not participating in the program.1

Furthermore, 61% indicated they had a good support network that would help them look for work (47% for non-participants), and a higher wellbeing score (71.2), compared to non-participants (67.3).1

Following Global Day of Parents (1 June), which honours the important role that parents play around the world, leading employment services provider atWork Australia is helping parents navigate getting back into the workforce after focusing on parenting.

Finding a job can be daunting, especially if you've been out of work for some time. Through ParentsNext, atWork Australia offers comprehensive, free support to overcome these challenges. This includes personalised career guidance, financial assistance for education and help to better understand how existing transferrable skills can pave the way for a successful future.

In the last year, atWork Australia has supported close to 760 participants across Perth through the ParentsNext program, which helps prepare parents to return to work once their youngest child turns six years of age.

Over this period, atWork Australia has supported parent participants in over 1000 activities including finding casual employment, interventions, vocational and non-vocational training, as well as feeding into other relevant programs. Many parents transition into work as a result of the preparation skills provided through ParentsNext, including in the sales, administration, education, carer, personal care and retail sectors.

atWork Australia ParentsNext client, Naomi from Boddington WA, achieved personal growth and overcame significant obstacles with the support of the program. After leaving an abusive relationship of nine years, she relocated to Mandurah with her three young children, where she found herself in need of support as a single parent without employment. In Australia, there are 1.1 million one-parent families, accounting for 14.7% of all families.2

Naomi was connected with atWork Australia and was encouraged to take part in the ParentsNext Program, where she was provided with education support, career guidance, childcare assistance, and access to community networks such as New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS). With this comprehensive support, Naomi was able to pursue her passion and launch her own mobile tanning business, ‘Oh My Glittery Gosh’.

Naomi commented: “My job coach Anne has truly been a champion for my business. She not only presented me with a comprehensive array of options but also guided me through each stage of the process with unwavering support. Her expertise and dedication have been very meaningful in helping me navigate every twist and turn along the way."

“When I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia two years ago, I was forced to bite the bullet and move in with my mother to recover and get back on my feet. Anne's support went beyond just practical assistance; she took the time to understand me and my struggles. Even on the days when I felt discouraged and didn't want to be seen as someone dealing with challenges, she was there, offering encouragement and motivation.”

Naomi is now set to launch a rebrand of her business as she enters a new era of innovation and growth. “Now I have broken down the barriers to employment, Anne continues to call me to check in and see how I am travelling. I am very lucky to have her support,” she said. 

Since 2018, the ParentsNext program has helped over 27,000 parents obtain employment and more than 56,000 participants gain education across Australia.3 This Global Day of Parents, atWork Australia is shining a light on the importance of supporting parents to reenter the workforce.

To find out more about atWork Australia’s support services, please visit: Additionally, you can listen to Candid Conversation’s podcast episode “You Don’t Realise How Strong You Are Until You Have to Be,” hosted by atWork Australia Brand Ambassador and Paralympian, Shaun Pianta, as he speaks with Naomi about her journey and the challenges she has faced and overcome.




About atWork Australia  

atWork Australia has been delivering employment services on behalf of the Australian Government since 2003. From more than 300 locations around the nation, atWork Australia delivers Disability Employment Services (DES), Workforce Australia and ParentsNext, connecting people and business so both can thrive.

Partnering with more than 2,800 employers across the country, atWork Australia placed 13,100 Australians into meaningful and sustainable employment across six states over the last 12 months, across a diverse range of industries and occupations. Find out more at



  1. Parliament of Australia. ParentsNext Evaluation Report. Accessed 24 May 2024.
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Labour Force Status of Families. Accessed 24 May 2024.
  3. atWork Australia. ParentsNext Contract Extended for Three More Years. Accessed 24 May 2024.

Contact details:

Tia Orfanidis, SenateSHJ, +61 411 293 583 /  


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