For the sake of children who are vulnerable or living in risky situations, talking about effective parenting is not enough.
In fact Parenting Research Centre director Annette Michaux is of the opinion the conversation needs to change to child development.
That's exactly what Ms Michaux will tell those attending a Kiama conference on Tuesday dealing with child abuse and neglect.
She will also talk about the Reframing Parenting Initiative during her keynote address at the 8th annual Child Protection Week professional Development Day at The Pavilion.
The 15 local agencies who form the South Coast Child Wellbeing Network will host the September 10 event, which will see hundreds of local members of the community working in the child and family sector attend.
"See me. Hear me. Walk with me. Considering the rights of a child in our work" is the theme of this year's event.
The keynote address to be delivered by Ms Michaux is titled 'Children thrive when their parents are supported: let's tell a new child development story'.
Ms Michaux said the growing gap between the reality of parenting and the 'parenting story' being told in Australia is getting in the way of creating meaningful and lasting change for families.
"I'm talking about a project called the Reframing Parenting Initiative which is really a national effort to try and change the conversation and help children more effectively," she said.
"It is really about talking in more productive ways about parenting to remove the barriers to parents getting help earlier.
"We've often talked first about effective parenting but what we've realised from this research we've done involving more than 7000 Australians, is if we change the conversation, we talk about child development rather than parenting, we are more likely to get support for our policies.
'And it makes sense when you think about it.
"If people are kind of blaming and judging your parenting, you are not necessarily going to particularly want to come forward when you get a problem.
"But if you talk about children and how we can all help children, it is what parents and the public are interested in. They want to make sure our children are growing up well and they are thriving.
"So when stormy choppy waters hit we are more likely to go forward with getting the help we need.
"It is really trying to help people understand that not only are parenting skills important but what surrounds us really effects us, so taking away that judgment, it is not all about parents and their individual parenting, it is about their community and support."
Ms Michaux said the conference was a great opportunity for the workers in the Illawarra to get together and start having this "more constructive conversation".
"I'm very much looking forward to getting in their and talking to them about how we support parents and their parenting," she said.
SCCWN member Samantha Lukey said the conference promotes awareness in the local community about education, keeping vulnerable children safe and show the importance of the community working together to strengthen and grow knowledge and understanding to help support vulnerable children and their families.