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The other parent has older children who will be at home alone with our children. How do I know it is safe?


As parents, you are responsible for ensuring your children are safe and free from risk of harm.  It is more important than ever that children feel safe and secure. Remember your co-parent is likely doing their best to manage parenting during a time of uncertainty.     

Try to you work as a team to keep your child’s best interests as your main priority. Your children may feel more secure if there are consistent rules across households – for example, rules about sibling interaction. It is also important that there are rules that ensure safety and respect first, especially between other children in the household.  

Blended families can be complicated and require effort to establish new rules and boundaries. Your co-parent may be working through how to manage differing rules across differing households.  

If you are concerned, as a first step, and only if it is safe to do so, try to communicate with the other parent to let them know your concerns and try to come up with practical solutions. Each parent should always consider the safety and best interests of the child, but also appreciate the concerns of the other parent when attempting to reach agreement. Options may include agreeing on consistent rules, especially between siblings or others in the household, agreeing on length of time left alone and regular phone/video check-ins throughout the day.     

The Raising Children Network has useful information about co-parenting and blended families. 

The Family Court of Australia has Frequently Asked Questions for co-parenting during COVID-19.

 If you feel you need further guidance, the Family Relationships Advice Line can provide information, advice and telephone-based Family Dispute Resolution services to assist parents and carers to discuss any issues that arise and help them come to an agreement. The Family Relationships Advice Line can be contacted on 1800 050 321 or visit the website

If you or your children are feeling unsafe or experiencing domestic or family violence, you can access information, counselling and support through 1800RESPECT website or call 1800 737 732. 1800RESPECT are open 24 hours a day during COVID-19. 

If you believe you are in immediate danger please contact the Police in your State on 000.

Are you in a crisis?

  • If you are in immediate danger 

    call 000

  • 1800RESPECT - 24/7 domestic and family violence service:
    1800 737 732
  • Lifeline - 24/7 crisis support:
    13 11 14
  • MensLine - 24/7 telephone and online counselling for men:
    1300 78 99 78