The past 12 months have been nothing short of challenging, but the hiccups haven't stopped our organisation from continuing the work we do to support our surrounding communities.
To emphasise how much our programs and services have risen above the obstacles they've faced, we're ending the year with a final wrap up of good news mentions from our Children, Youth and Families Directorate.
Community for Children (CFC) Trauma Informed Practice Workshop:
The Communicare Communities for Children Team completed 2020 with two highly successful training workshops for community and agency staff.
Up to 75 people across different community service providers within Armadale and surrounding areas including Save the Children, Department of Health, Communities, Education and more, attended the trauma informed workshops held at Armadale in the months of October and December.
Trauma is prevalent and can greatly affect long term functioning. These workshops are intended to leave participants with greater scope on the indicators of trauma which better equips them with the right skills and knowledge to not only respond to issues that arise from this, but to help those lived experience to heal and progress.
The first was delivered by Karen Hulls and the second by Gail Green which included group activities and situations enabling participants to practical apply their learnings so they can do the same in the workplace.
Both workshops were well received as participants expressed the difference in confidence when leaving the workshop compared to when first entering and the high turn-out helped to highlight concerns facing organisations when it comes to supporting families affected by trauma, which can often be intergenerational.
Trauma Informed Practice is one of Communicare's six initiatives and the current framework in development outlines our commitment to expanding our understanding of the long-term effects of trauma and how we can build the capacity of service delivery front-liners to provide the best support to victims.
According to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a large part of this resides in our ability to uphold client participation and analysis of our services to ensure it is reflective of their needs – and this is skill we are committed to further strengthening.
Family Support Network mental health awareness event:
This year has proven how vital it is to maintain our mental health and wellbeing – particularly when faced with life-changing conditions and circumstances we may not have expected, like COVID-19.
On World Mental Health Day this year (celebrated on October 10), our Family Support Network (FSN) linked with Imagined Futures and Fremantle Mind Inc to run a community fundraiser for members of the Fremantle community.
Our FSN team provide integrated and coordinated secondary support for families experiencing complex circumstances which inhibit children from living safely in their home. By providing family assessments and appropriate intervention, FSN connects their clients with services to help them get the support they need in the early development of a problem.
The event brought people of all ages and backgrounds together with the objective to inform the wider community on the reality on mental health, what it can look like for different people and the detrimental effects it can have on our lives when often ignored.
Additionally, it enabled our FSN team to open gateways for local members of the community to discover more about the service and how it could be of help to them.
Special guests included the Mayor of Cockburn, Fremantle and Melville as well as local Fremantle resident Auntie Marie, who conducted a Welcome To Country.
There were various games and recreational activities for participants to engage in including yoga, sport and drumbeat sessions.
September and October are familiar for spreading mental health awareness with campaigns driven to encourage the wider community to take a step back and reflect on our thoughts, emotions and actions.
This event was a great way to round up and encourage people to address their mental health concerns and seek support by removing the negative stigma that comes attached with it.
FSN Training session:
Earlier in December, colleagues from both our Fremantle and Armadale FSN teams attended a workshop on Safety Planning – an integral element to the primary work they do in ensuring children can live safely at home.
The workshop was delivered by the Child Protection Leaders from the Department of Communities and covered the steps in establishing safety plans, considerations to remember (which can be unique depending on the case) how to best implement these with their clients to support their overall objective.
The opportunity enabled colleagues to gather advice from frontline experts and renew their understanding on practices they administer upon clients and participants. The well receved feedback has opened the doors for further training workshops to follow in 2021.
Inclusion Support and ParentsNext uncover more about themselves by incorporating the Phoenix Cups Strategy:
Sarah Jarvis, Rachel Knight, Sonya Bowditch from our Inclusion Support team met with Stephanie Morris and Madilaine Devine from our ParentsNext team to explore how to build stronger relationships incorporating the Phoenix cups strategy earlier this year.
Designed for educators, the framework is intended to help dissect the underlying function of a child's behavior. To do this, educators must determine the most important needs in their lives and those around them by distinguishing which out of the five cups to fulfil. Each cup represents a different need, and these are - Master, Fun, Freedom, Connection and Safety.
By facilitating reflection and critical thinking, the framework helps develop an understanding of one another.
Not only did this augment a more transparent and positive working environment, but it also enabled our professionals working in the areas of early childhood development and the employment and education industries to uncover human behavior, how our individual experiences can shape our actions and ways of thinking, and further, how this can influence our interactions with our families, friends and clients.
HIPPY hosts a dual Children's Week event:
The Children's Week theme this year placed emphasis on 'reserving a child's right to distribute their opinion' and to celebrate that, members from our Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) hosted a family function.
HIPPY provides diverse at-home early learning support allows for a smooth transition into a child's first schooling experience by helping parents become their first teacher.
The event was held at a local Beckenham kindergarten and was attended by over 14 families who were able to meet each other and foster new relationships.
A long term HIPPY coordinator provided enrichment learning for parents and outlined the importance of hearing the voice of children, particularly when making decisions that directly impact them.
To better facilitate this concept, parents were required to get creative and make microphones with their children which they could take home. Microphones are an essential ornament to clearly hear what someone has to say when speaking over a crowd and this activity served as a reminder for parents to always include the voice of their children.
This was a practical and unique way of engaging HIPPY's clients to improve the outcomes of their program and highlighted the primary rights of children during a week dedicated to them.
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