Goodstart centre embeds practical supports for domestic violence victims
Providing practical support to families affected by domestic violence is a priority for Goodstart Campbelltown, with Centre Director, Christian Gava, working hard to ensure that the centre builds strong relationships with local organisations and agencies who support families experiencing this complex set of circumstances.
Through the establishment and maintenance of a relationship with the Campbelltown Domestic Violence Unit, the centre has developed strong connections with other Government departments and agencies, cross referring to supports through mental health and child protection.
Ms Gava said she was keen to establish and maintain authentic connections, which are as meaningful and purposeful as possible, wanting to help in “the most practical ways we can.”
“I didn’t want anything tokenistic…we have all worked really hard to provide practical support and make connections that are ingrained in our service” she said.
Staff at the centre assist families referred to them from the Campbelltown Domestic Violence Unit to access the Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) – the child care subsidy for families who have found themselves in vulnerable situations – but the support does not end there.
“We also offer practical in-centre support including a community pantry, community clothes swap and community library,” Ms Gava said, adding that the centre has worked with the local Men’s Shed to have two wooden houses made and bolted to the floor outside the centre.
The houses are filled with supplies, so that families who need to quickly leave their home situation, or who find themselves without somewhere to stay or without money, can access these supplies 24 hours a day.
The entire Goodstart Campbelltown team, Ms Gava said, were dedicated to helping make their children and families’ lives happier.
“It is easy to support a family that you know is dealing with domestic violence. When they are referred to us from an agency and we know they need support we can provide it,” she said.
“What I want us to get to is being able to identify it before we know about it. How do we help stop it before it gets to crisis point? I feel very passionate about learning to see the signs and offer support- no matter what that support is.”
Advice and support for early childhood education and care services who are wishing to further understand and support families experiencing domestic violence are encouraged to view the range of resources available here.