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Therapeutic interventions to help women, children and young people recover from family violence

A mobile therapy bus based in Ballarat and Moorabool Shire is helping children and young people recover from family violence.

15/11/19 5.08am
The Van Go mobile therapy bus parked on the side of the road in rural Victoria.

A mobile therapy bus in Ballarat and Moorabool Shire is one of a range of innovative and evidence-based therapeutic interventions being rolled out across Victoria to help women, children and young people recover from family violence.

The Royal Commission into Family Violence highlighted the need for therapeutic interventions that are well-tailored to the diverse identities and experiences of Victorians and the importance of strengthening the delivery of therapeutic services that focus on the needs of children and young people.

Thirteen mainstream organisations across Victoria have received a share of $21 million funding for therapeutic interventions, with 40% of the funding dedicated to interventions that support children and young people.

$5 million of the $21million is also dedicated for Aboriginal communities with 11 Aboriginal organisations across Victoria funded to delivered therapeutic interventions to Aboriginal families.

The state-wide investment follows the completion of 26 demonstration projects to trial new ways of providing intensive therapeutic support to Victorians experiencing or recovering from family violence.

Some insights from people who have been supported with therapeutic interventions through the demonstration projects include

“I found a really strong connection with a couple of the women there and that was really nice. It was sort of the first time that I’d ever been around other women that had been through the same thing as I had, because none of my friends have.”

“Now I feel like I relate to [my son], our relationship is amazing, like he is my best little friend. We have so much fun, we paint together every day.”

“I didn't even realise that it was trauma until I met my counsellor. In counselling with her, she asked me if I'd heard of post-traumatic stress, and I said to her that that's what soldier’s go through, not me.”

The Van Go Therapy Bus, which was one of the demonstration projects, is now one of a number of therapeutic interventions being offered by The Family Violence - Creative and Therapeutic Services Consortium formed by WRISC, Ballarat Community Health and Berry Street, which will support almost 100 adults, children and young people in the Central Highlands each year.

The Van Go Therapy bus is staffed by therapists and travels to schools and other locations to offer tailored therapeutic support, including art, music and play therapy, to infants, children and young people.

The Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative in Central Highlands has also received funding to provide therapeutic services for about 34 Aboriginal families in the Central Highlands each year.

Reviewed 19 November 2019

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