The TOUGHLOVE program was founded by Phyllis & David York in 1972. The Yorks worked as family & youth counselors in USA for 13 years before they realized that while understanding and forgivness may be commendable when dealing with young people who are constantly in trouble this approach does not always work. This lesson was learnt through personal experience with their own child.

TOUGHLOVE is a loving solution for families that are being torn apart by unacceptable behaviour. These young people may skip school, run away from home, abuse drugs or alcohol, get into trouble with the law, get involved with others on their terms. Or act as though they are the only people to be considered when making decisions about their life. TOUGHLOVE encourages parents to allow their children to experience the natural and logical consequences of their actions. TOUGHLOVE also teaches parents that constantly rescuing children from these consequences is not helping them to grow and mature. It is in fact hindering the growth of mature, responsible attitudes.

TOUGHLOVE is tough on parents. It is recognized that it is hard work changing behaviour and habits that have developed over years and that we need the support of others to do this. Parents come to TOUGHLOVE because they love their kids enough to want to make positive changes in their own lives and in the lives of their kids.

TOUGHLOVE is not a parenting program. It is a crisis intervention program.

TOUGHLOVE is a philosophy based on action. Parents join local groups for practical and emotional peer support. Parents provide understanding for one another without becoming involved in blaming. TOUGHLOVE in non judgemental. Where counseling or therapy is required, parents are referred to professionals while continuing to get support from their TOUGHLOVE groups.

TOUGHLOVE is confrontational. Parents are challenged to view themselves clearly, to examine their present behavioural responses and ideas and, where necessary, to make constructive changes. Practical solutions are provided to help change behaviour. It as accepted that the only people we can change are ourselves and that other may, or may not, choose to change in response to the changes we make. Decisiveness and directness are encouraged. Parents are able to call upon other members of the group fro practical support at any time. Members have been asked, at times, to take kids from other families and provide them with temporary shelter while a family crisis tries to resolve itself.

TOUGHLOVE is a non profit organization offering self help materials to parents, kids in trouble and professional working with them. TOUGHLOVE groups are not run by professionals. They are run by parents for parents. People in service roles in society may initate groups but they only survive if the parents are committed to the group and to each other. For many people, TOUGHLOVE provides an extended family of caring adults who are not only ready and willing to listen, but who are also willing to become involved and remain involved.

TOUGHLOVE does nor advocate punishment, or "throwing kids out". However, it does ask that our acting out young people experience appropriate and relevant consequences of their behaviour, so that they will learn and change. This is often hard on parents, so they need the support of others who know that TOUGHLOVE does work.

· At co operation in our families, communities and between agencies involved with our young people.
· At encouraging our young people to become responsible adults.
· To make our community a safe place to life.

Contact number 1300 856 830




Louise Smith