26 July, 2012

Stepfamilies today are becoming a prominent part of Australian family life. It is estimated that one in five Australian families is a stepfamily. National Stepfamily Awareness Day is a day dedicated to stepfamilies and an opportunity for communities to celebrate and acknowledge stepfamilies and the vital role that stepparents play in the lives of the children and young people they care for.

Friends and extended family often don’t realise just how hard it can be for stepfamilies, particularly in the first few years, when stepfamilies most need their support. National Stepfamily Awareness Day helps promote community awareness about the challenges that stepfamilies face and the services available to support families through difficult times.

Stepfamilies face a range of unique and complex challenges and it is not uncommon for stepfamilies to go through stages of confusion, conflict and crisis before finding their way and developing strong family bonds.

More than half of parents who separate, re-partner. Yet the dynamics and the complexity of the new family relationships mean stepfamilies are continually at risk of conflict and are at a much higher risk of separation than biological families. Stepparents often find themselves ill equipped to deal with the myriad of adjustments and emotions they experience in their new role.

Many relationship difficulties can be managed and supported with the right kind of help. At Relationships Australia we understand the unique differences associated with stepfamilies. We provide assistance to families where one or both partners come together with children from an earlier relationship. These families may be either thinking about forming or already living in a married or unmarried stepfamily situation.

At Relationships Australia we believe that healthy relationships are crucial to a persons development and individual growth and that our relationships impact on our well being and happiness. When our personal relationships are not working well, our ability to cope with other areas of our life is often affected.

If you would like support for your family, please contact Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277 for information about our services, and to make an appointment.