Parenting and Family Support Pilot Program
Children who grow up in a family with high contact with the criminal justice system through parental offending can experience profound adverse effects on their life opportunities.
The Department of Justice & Regulation in the Loddon Mallee Region has established a Parenting and Family Support Services Referral Pilot to strengthen parenting skills and reduce family violence by building workforce capacity and strengthening partnership with local services.
This program was initiated through the Loddon Children and Youth Area Partnership, in support of their goal to act earlier with families where children are identified as vulnerable – "before things become critical".
With the initial success of the pilot in Loddon, the pilot has now been implemented in the Mallee.
The Mallee pilot was launched in Mildura in October 2016 and aims to increase referrals to parenting programs and family support services for offenders on a Community Corrections Order supervised by Mildura Community Correctional Services. Referrals open up opportunities for early intervention, access to appropriate supports, and information sharing to enable coordinated care planning. Participation in the pilot is voluntary.
The Mildura Pilot is supported by partnerships with and awareness of a range of services including:
- Child First (Mallee Accommodation and Support Program)
- Child Protection (Department of Health and Human Services)
- Mallee Family Care (MFC)
- Maternal and Child Health
- Mildura District Aboriginal Cooperative (MDAS)
- Sunraysia Community Health Services (SCHS)
- Zoe Support Australia.
The Department of Justice and Regulation Parenting and Family Support Pilot program aligns well the goals of the Mallee Area Partnership, particularly around supporting children aged 0-6 years through the strengthening of parenting skills and capacity.