An Australian-first, early intervention program targeted at helping Victorian fathers overcome the challenges of abuse, violence and trauma, has today been granted further funding from a partnership with the Victorian Government and Gandel Philanthropy. The Children’s Protection Society began the program with an initial grant of $575,000, to implement a trial to help dads in North Eastern Melbourne. The $4.6 million from the Victorian Government and $1 million from Gandel Philanthropy over three years boost will allow the program to expand to Western Melbourne and Inner Gippsland. Developed by the Child Development Institute in Toronto Canada and adapted for Australia, the program offers fathers who are abusive and have substance abuse and mental health issues with support to recognise the impact of their behaviours on their children and assist them to develop positive healthy and safe relationships. Children’s Protection Society CEO, Aileen Ashford, said the unique partnership between the Government, philanthropy and CPS, supporting the programs evidence-based approach, can make a difference to the behaviour of men and change their relationships with their children. “Children are often the silent victims in family violence and there are limited programs that men can access that place an emphasis on this. As a community we need to enhance the scope of services that assists men early on and supports them to build positive relationships with their children- this program will give us that chance. “There are very few services that respond holistically to the multiple issues associated with this family violence, and none that are evidence-based. This program aims to keep children and parents together, and build safe and healthy environments,” she said. Chairman of Gandel Philanthropy, John Gandel AO, said that all trustees were in consensus to support the trial and development of this important and innovative program. “Family violence is insidious and the whole society has a duty to support programs and activities that address this crisis. Gandel Philanthropy trustees believed that the delivery of a pilot program, based on a very successful overseas model directed specifically at the perpetrators of violence, was worthy of support and had the potential to help tackle this pressing and complex social issue,” he said. The program runs over 17 weeks, and consists of voluntary group sessions where fathers learn parenting skills and the impact of family violence on their children. There is also support and education around the importance of having a respectful relationship with their children’s mother. Referrals to the program are made through alcohol and other drug services, mental health services, child protection, Child FIRST, maternal and child health services, police and other community service providers, such as doctors.Read the story
Today the Andrews Labor Government announced the locations of the first Support and Safety Hubs where victim survivors of family violence can access the help they need to stay safe. They will be a visible contact point with access to highly skilled workers that are integrated into the broader social service and justice systems. "We welcome that one of five of the initial Hubs will be in North-East Melbourne. CPS has been working here for many years with women and children who've been victims of family violence through ChildFIRST and our other therapeutic and family services programs. We look forward to the co-design process that will occur to build the hubs." - CPS CEO Aileen Ashford Other Hub locations include Barwon, Bayside Peninsula, Inner Gippsland and Mallee regions. The Hubs were a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence and will prioritise the safety of women and children.Read the story
Three children, family violence, a marriage breakdown and an abusive and controlling ex-husband…
This is a first hand account of how CPS helped a mum navigate a turbulent time in her life to the point where she is now excited about what the future holds for her family.