Kara FVS news
October 21, 2022

Working more closely with our younger clients

21 October 2022

Our new dedicated Child and Youth Practitioner will expand the ways we respond to children impacted  by family violence

Research shows that children and young people need to grow up in a secure and nurturing environment. When children are exposed to family violence their sense of security is adversely impacted and they may be afraid for their future and the people they love. Whatever their level of exposure, family violence is a traumatic experience for children and can have long term effects on their physical and emotional health and wellbeing.

Kara Family Violence Service provides crisis accommodation and support to women who have experienced family violence but also to their accompanying children. All Kara FVS Specialist Family Violence Practitioners have training and skill in working with children but the move to our new crisis accommodation presented the ideal opportunity to expand this support and employ a dedicated Child and Youth Practitioner.

The Child and Youth Practitioner works alongside the Specialist Family Violence Practitioners but with a dedicated focus on the individual child’s needs. The process of assessing these needs commences at the point of referral and before the child comes into crisis accommodation.

The role of the specialist family violence practitioners is to conduct safety, risk and needs assessments based on the initial referral and conversations with the mother. When the child comes into crisis accommodation the Child and Youth Practitioner will introduce herself to the child and talk directly to them about their wants and needs and conduct a formal developmental and needs assessment with the child and mother depending on the child’s age or capability. This assessment will assist the Child and Youth Practitioner and specialist family violence practitioner to prioritise and coordinate referrals and actions.

Regularly during their stay in crisis accommodation, the Child and Youth Practitioner will meet with the child, check-in on their needs and wellbeing and conduct structured activities as well as finding opportunities for informal connection. Play is the primary method used to engage children and young people.

Through various play-based activities, the Child and Youth Practitioner builds trust and rapport with young people whilst conducting intentional conversations that lead to a greater understanding of the challenges, strengths and needs of the children and their families. The Child and Youth Practitioner uses child-friendly case plans and safety plans as well as linkages to external and ongoing educational and health and wellbeing support services to establish safety and support. Kara FVS is confident that as a result of the involvement of the Child and Youth Practitioner, children will feel seen and heard as victim-survivors in their own right and both mothers and children will feel increased empowerment and confidence in stepping forward into safety and healthy family relationships.

To find our more about our service call 03 9899 5666 or email support@karaFVS.org.au

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