Catherine Circle 2017 project revealed


Recently, The Catherine Circle held their annual function where they received the reports on the two projects funded from 2016 function and were presented with two project options for 2017.  

The two project proposals came from McAuley Care with the first focusing on the mother-child bond and completing in depth evaluation on the effectiveness of the art therapy program. The other project focused on understanding why young people do not accompany their mothers into McAuley Care.

The Catherine Circle will fund the Strengthening the mother-child bond for McAuley Care families project which will explore the effectiveness of the Family Therapeutic Art Intervention sessions at improving the mother-child bond for families of the McAuley Care service.

CEO Jocelyn Bignold said: “We know that when infants and children experience family violence it has far-reaching, and variable negative impacts that can continue long after they have been removed from the violence.”

She added that research also shows that family violence can drive a wedge between mothers and children which reduces the protective nature of their mutual relationships.

Helping mothers to understand how their children are experiencing the effects of family violence (i.e. seeing it through a ‘children’s lens’) is an important approach for family recovery and can be aided by the utilisation of therapeutic art sessions.

McAuley has a Specialist Children’s worker who is qualified in Art Therapy who has built a program that educates mothers and staff to promote a culture of utilising a ‘children’s lens’ that meets the needs of infants, children and their mothers.

Currently, we don’t really know how well the program is working; if the mothers do become more attuned to their children’s needs; if there is a measurable improvement in trauma-linked behaviours; what things help to make the sessions successful and what things work against this. There is also uncertainty about the specific education needs of staff and volunteers.

“The Catherine Circle project funding will enable us to evaluate the program in greater depth and make necessary adjustments to ensure the children are receiving the support that they need and mothers are able to understand how their children experience the effects of family violence, and what they can do” children’s worker Bess Meredith said.

These are important pieces of work that without the generous support of The Catherine Circle, McAuley would not be able to fund.  If you' would like to become a member of The Catherine Circle, please click here for more information.