Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 March 1979

Volume 4 Issue 1

The Interaction of Members, Volunteers and Professionals in the Self Help Group: Parents Anonymous, Australia

Diana S. Taylor

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Diana S. Taylor

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This paper traces the development of Parents Anonymous in Australia. It was found that it was not possible to simply transfer the American system into the Australian context.

The major feature of the Australian PA is the highly successful telephone and home visiting service. In contrast, the groups have been successful for only short periods and in only few cases.

The reasons for these differences are described with reference to

(i) the wider social context of both government and public awareness of child abuse.

(ii) the changing nature of the interaction between professionals and members, and the need to distinguish between “deprofessionalisation” and “laissez-faire”.

(iii) the changing nature of the distinction between volunteers and members and the developing awareness of the symbiotic nature of giving and receiving help.

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