The concept of Good Enough Parenting, introduced by Winnicott in 1965, has been useful to distinguish between care of children which is not ideal, and care which warrants removal of children from a family. There have been various attempts to turn the concept into practice guidelines, most notably by the British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering (Adcock & White 1985). However there is a dearth of Australian material and little which is concise.
Barnardos Australia believed that it was necessary to produce a short practice paper to address this critical issue in child protection practice. This paper was developed through a series of workshops with Barnardos workers which focused on their practice needs. It was designed to assist in decisions about parenting standards which are difficult, not the most obvious situations of neglect or abuse. The paper suggests ways of thinking about good enough parenting and practical questions to bear in mind in family assessment.