Frequently Asked Questions (click on question for answer)

Can you provide advice about my particular situation?

We are very sorry, but we simply cannot give you any advice, over the phone or on-line. The heart of our program is the sharing of information and experiences that takes place within the support group.

Can you give me a referral for where to send my child?

TOUGHLOVE Australia does not refer people to boot camps or treatment facilities. We recommend that you go to your local Parent Support Group. The parents in the group will let you know which professionals and services have been helpful to their families and which ones have not.

Where is the nearest Parent Support Group located?

Our website lists all the Parent Support Groups in Australia. If you cannot find a convenient location, you should still send in your request to the closest one to you. If enough people from your area inquire, we may be able to start a new Support Group near you.

Can I start a Group in my area?

As you might imagine, this is a significant commitment and other families will be depending on you. Please begin by first establishing in your own mind whether or not our program is right for you. To do this, read the Bantam/Doubleday book TOUGHLOVE by Phyllis and David York. After reading this book, you will be in a much better position to decide whether you really want to help start a new group.

What kind of trouble does my child have to be in for me to need this group?

You are the one who decides what is a problem in your home. TOUGHLOVE Parent Support Groups help parents with a wide range of problems from, "my son won't clean his bedroom" to "my son has been arrested for...". If you are concerned about your child's behaviour, that is enough.

Is it my fault that my child is in trouble?

We are not interested in blaming anyone. A TOUGHLOVE Parent Support Group is a group of caring adults who will understand what you are going through. We know you have done the best that you can with the tools that you have.

What if my spouse won't go with me to the Group?

That's not unusual. You will find other people in the group in the same situation. Go anyway. You are welcome to bring a friend or relative for support.

What is the weekly contribution fee used for?

Each state may vary in the way they manage contributions. Generally the contribution is shared between the group and the state organisation and goes towards covering expenses.

Groups incur expenses such as registration, meeting place rental, workshops, helping other families, materials, coffee, etc.

State association expenses include the TOUGHLOVE phone line and calls, Internet access and website, rental of office space, office materials, insurance, training and more.

Your contribution is greatly appreciated and is our primary source of income, without which we could not promote, maintain, or expand the parent support group network.

Is there a fee?

There is a one-time charge for the materials you will need to work with in the group.

There is also a small weekly contribution requested from each family.

Please contact your local organisation for current details. If the money is a problem for you, please don't let it prevent you from going to the group. Instead, let the group know and they may be able to assist you.

Does my child go with me to the group?

No. The group is for parents and other adults who care about you and your family. Your child does not need to know everything that you are doing.

Are you a religious Program?

No. We are not affiliated with any religious organisation.

What kind of Program does TOUGHLOVE offer?

We are a network of Parent Support Groups for parents having difficulties with children aged from "7 to 70".

Will you tell me what to do?

Changes you need to make may be different from those of other people. You are in charge of making decisions about your life and your family. Other parents in the group will offer you suggestions based on what has worked for them and other people.

Why do I need to go to a Group when my child is the one with the problem?

If you ask your child if he or she has a problem, they will answer no. If someone asks you if you have a problem, you will answer yes. You need to go to the group to create a plan to help your child and that plan includes a support system. Making changes is not easy and you will need a support system created of people who understand where you are.

Where is the nearest boot camp?

TOUGHLOVE does not refer people to boot camps or other treatment facilities. We know that your child may need help from one or more of these places. We recommend that you go to your local Parent Support Group.

There's no Parent Support Group near me, can I just buy the material?

Yes, you can purchase the TOUGHLOVE materials. We suggest you contact your closest State Office to discuss your options.

Remember that you cannot simply purchase the "support" part of the program. Support is what makes the TOUGHLOVE Program unique and successful. Most people cannot "change" life-long behaviours without appropriate support.

How long will it take before I see changes in my child's behaviour?

Your situation took time to develop and it will likely take time to resolve. How long? We cannot say for sure. Parents who attend for at least 6 weeks AND work the program say that they feel calmer and more confident when dealing with problem behaviour, whether their child has changed or not. The parents have changed.

What is TOUGHLOVE Australia?

TOUGHLOVE is a non-profit, self-help organisation that provides ongoing education and active support to families, empowering parents and young people to accept responsibility for their actions and to stop destructive behaviours. We encourage families to network with community leaders, agencies and each other, to help parents regain control of their homes and their lives, making communities safer places in which to live.

What can I do if my question is not answered here?

Please contact the TOUGHLOVE* Contact Centre for your state.