Children of domestic violence survivors to get specialised help in South Australia

Children of domestic violence survivors to get specialised help in South Australia

by Freya Lucas

November 22, 2021

The children of domestic violence (DV) survivors are now receiving dedicated, specialist support of their own – in addition to support services provided to their parents – under a new program designed to address the unique needs of young children and adolescents.

 

The Marshall Liberal Government’s $1.5 million Safe and Well Kids program was established in response to the significant number of women presenting for DV support with accompanying children.

 

A team of experts are providing “wrap around” support to children and adolescents who have experienced domestic and family violence, including child-focused case managers, Aboriginal family workers and social workers.

 

In its first three months, Safe and Well Kids has already supported 15 families and is set to help up to 150 families over the next year.

 

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the Marshall Liberal Government remains committed to supporting at-risk women and children in South Australia.

 

“Domestic violence has a ripple effect that extends well beyond the direct hurt to women, leaving their children vulnerable to devastating emotional, mental and physical harm,” Minister Lensink said.

 

“Most frontline domestic violence services are understandably focussed on the needs of our at-risk women, however children and adolescents exposed to violence and abuse in the family home need our support too – and that’s why we are targeting this new program to help them.”

 

Women and their children are referred to the program by Women’s Safety Services SA (WSSSA) case managers, with the program soon set to expand and open up to more direct referrals from the DV Crisis Line and crisis accommodation clients.

 

The program provides practical help including access to therapeutic programs appropriate for children, legal advice and support to enrol children in early childhood education, Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Prevention Carolyn Power explained. 

 

“For women recovering from the trauma of domestic violence, and shouldering the responsibility of single parenting, seemingly simple things – like help with enrolling a child in daycare and applying for subsidies to cover the cost – can make a tremendous difference in their day to day life.” 

 

“It also makes an enormous difference to the children, who then have a safe space to learn, play and socialise – the fundamental experiences of childhood that all children should have.”

 

Safe and Well Kids is delivered by WSSSA together with the Legal Services Commission of South Australia and Relationships Australia (SA).

 

Learn more about Safe and Well Kids here

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