media release give parent group a go
8 May, 2015
Give parent group a go
The babies are gurgling and the mothers chatting as they gather for the monthly Parent Group
meeting at the Balonne Care Centre in St George.
St George Child and Family Health Nurse Jenny Blokland said the group gives parents the
opportunity to relax and feel connected.
“New mums are going through enormous changes in their lives and there’s a special kind of
support that comes from being around women who are going through the same experience,”
“The group provides a forum for parents to talk and share so they don’t feel overwhelmed or
Belinda Sjolund started going to Parent Group with her first son Hayden and is now back with
her second baby Liam.
“You make lifelong friendships because you are sharing the same milestones,” Mrs Sjolund
“I have friends I met at Parent Group, that I didn’t know before we had our babies, and now we
go to each other’s places and the boys go to Kindy together.”
At the last meeting Care Balonne Family Support Worker Cait Fitzpatrick was the guest
“My aim is to support parents and families to help them through any situation or difficulties,” Ms
“People can come in for a chat if they are feeling stressed out that day, or I can help them
resolve problems by linking them to other services such as mental health, disability, financial
and legal services.”
The next Parent Group meeting at 10am on Wednesday the 20th of May will hear from the local
Ms Blokland said after the guest speaker parents have time to socialise as she undertakes the
monthly weigh and measure of the babies.
“Parent Group is a really good starting point for young mothers who are new to the district and
don’t have established support networks,” she said.
“So many times I’ve seen people feeling nervous as they walk in and then watched them go on
to create strong friendship groups from the meetings.”
Parent group is held the third Wednesday of each month at the Care Balonne Centre in St
For more information contact Jenny Blokland at St George Hospital 46202265 or Cait Fitzpatrick
at Care Balonne 46255450.
Photo Caption - SWHHS Parent Group – (l-r) Chloe Morris and Kyran, Maree Duffin & Abbey, Kym
Duncan and Jenny Blokand from St George Hospital, Cait Fitzgerald from Care Balonne with
Laureena Todd & Lilah and Eda Jenkins & Max (front) Belinda Sjolund and Liam.
For further information contact:
Acting Public Affairs Officer,
South West Hospital and Health Service
Phone: 0417 758 353