Innovative new program a game changer
SO FAR this year, 33 women have been killed in Australia as a result of family violence and while these figures are staggering, a newly government funded program to help curb the after effects of a family violence issue is set to see one of 26 statewide early intervention pilot programs launched in Shepparton from next week.
Funded by the Victorian Government and being run at the Caroline Chisholm Society Goulburn Valley Pregnancy & Family Support Service, the Children and Mother’s in Mind (CMiM) program will commence from September 20.
The program is a three-part, 20-week program, where participants work with trained professionals to respond to their trauma, then work to rebuild attachment through the program ‘Mother’s in Mind,’ and then finding ways to continue their new way of relating as a family.
Led by program senior practitioners, Liz Meloury and Jeanette Monteith, the program Children and Mother’s in Mind is an Australian first for mothers and children (four years and under) who have experienced difficult family relationships, which may include family violence.
Liz said, “The statistics surrounding family violence deaths are quite astonishing. The figures show that there is approximately one woman per week killed as a result of family violence.
“An Australian woman is more likely to be killed in her own home by her male partner than by anyone else, anywhere else.
“According to Vic Health, family violence is more damaging to the health of women aged 15-44 years than any other risk factor including obesity and smoking. In fact, they say it is the biggest contributor to ill health and premature death for women in this age range. Bigger than smoking and obesity, that is alarming!
“We know that children who are exposed to family violence may be affected from the trauma of it throughout their lives. One of the effects for women is the impact on her ability to parent her own child effectively.
“Our program, ‘CMiM’ aims to address this by providing a nurturing learning environment for mum as we believe this will enable her to then provide an environment for her children where they are nurtured and encouraged to reach their full potential.
“It also works to create an opportunity to decrease mother and child isolation for those families who feel out of place in other parenting support programs, increase parenting competency and support improvement of the mother-child bond in order to focus on the mother-child relationship.”
“CMiM recognises that women who have experienced hurtful experiences often lose confidence in their ability to parent effectively, this often leads to isolation and difficulty coping with parenthood.
“CMiM takes a ‘two generations’ approach and focuses on both the mother and child(ren). Clinicians will work with clients fostering mother/infant connection and also has a case work component throughout the program as additional therapeutic work, this combination distinguishes CMiM from a normal counselling or case work model of intervention.”
For further information, or to self-refer, contact Liz Meloury or Jeanette Monteith at the Caroline Chisholm Society, Goulburn Valley Pregnancy & Family Support Service on 5821 0826, email CMiMgv@caroline.org.au or visit www.caroline.org.au/cmim