New program to support parents affected by family violence

The new program will run until September 15.

A new program aimed at supporting parents and caregivers affected by family violence has launched in Melton.

Bringing Up Great Kids After Family Violence is a weekly initiative by the Salvation Army’s Children and Parenting Support Service that empowers victim survivors living in Melton and Wyndham to help raise their children.

The program is jointly facilitated by lead practitioners Sandra Milunovic and Neha Chugh.

“Especially due to COVID, we had a lot of people who were not able to get out of their houses or not be able to reach out for support,” Ms Chugh said.

“Bringing up great kids is one of our first programs that we’ll be delivering in person, and this program specifically can’t be done online and needs to be done in person.

“If there’s a parent who’s struggling with their kids’ routine, their behaviours, or day to day life challenges that come in between and they just find it way too hard and lose themselves, that’s where we come in.

“We do a lot of community work, [and work] in conjunction with a lot of community services based in the LGAs, we work closely with the schools, we work closely with the community centres [and] the councils of Melton and Wyndham.”

Ms Chugh said this is the third time the program has been attempted, after the initial two tries were cancelled due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

“We had quite a few mothers on our waitlist who wanted to have a safe space and work on their parenting goals, because of the trauma they had faced they were unable to focus on their children and that guilt of not being able to support their children,” she said.

“We’ll be focusing on the client’s needs and desires and they want their best parenting goal to be and help them achieve that goal.”