We provide direct support to children who have experienced and witnessed family violence.
In 2018-2019 we introduced onsite tutoring and educational support, school holiday program activities, and after-hours children’s support.
Addressing children’s trauma
McAuley recognises that children’s pain and trauma is unique and different in nature to that of their mothers’ and requires a specialist response.
We have a playroom with a specialist children’s worker. Through art, play and conversation, a child’s feelings about what has happened in their family can be explored.
We focus attention on improving the bond between mothers and their children, which has often been damaged by the violence.
Perpetrators of family violence often use ‘divide and conquer’ techniques to damage or undermine a woman’s ability to parent.
Additionally, many women come to our service traumatised and need help to learn how to respond to the distress and trauma of their children.
To rebuild the mother-child bond, we encourage mothers to attend the playroom alongside their children.
Fun activities such as playdough and slime making, collage art and making bubbles, can recapture simple delight in one another’s company as well as opening up avenues for conversations about how the children are going, and enabling children’s voices and experiences to be heard and reflected on by their mum.
Our education program also addresses the issues children can face if their schooling is disrupted when their mothers leave a violent partner. Volunteer tutors work with children to ensure they do not fall behind in meeting educational milestones.
Read about the work of Catherine, a volunteer who is assisting children with their education.