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For practitioners working with children

For practitioners working with children

For practitioners working with children

Resources for workers supporting children

Thanks to Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital Mental Health Service, we are able to provide resources developed and produced by their multi-national award winning ‘Addressing Family Violence Programs’ (AFVP) which operated from 1996 to early 2012.

These resources have been designed to assist practitioners working with children and mothers who have experienced family violence.

Addressing Family Violence Programs (AFVP) Book

Addressing Family Violence Programs (AFVP) Book CoverThis book captures work of the Royal Children's Hospital Mental Health Program's AFVP over its first decade (1996-2006) and in particular their group work programs: 

  • Just for Kids
  • The Peek-a-Boo Club™

It takes the reader through the theory, principles and practice of the AFVP work as well as their endeavours to measure its effectiveness.

This resource offers 166 pages packed full of articles, stories from the children themselves and a variety of interventions utilised in their addressing family violence work. It expands on and complements the other resources available about the AFVP work and the knowledge provided can be drawn upon in working with any infant or child who has experienced family violence.

Download the AFVP Book (PDF).

PARKAS (Parents Accepting Responsibility Kids Are Safe) Manual

PARKAS imageParkas is a group work intervention for mothers and their children affected by family violence.

As a recognised example of ‘good practice’, this award winning program is two tiered and targets children between the ages of 8 to 12 years and their mothers.

This manual provides an overview of the theory that underpins this intervention and provides a week by week guide on how to deliver a parkas program.

Also included are examples of assessment, consent, and evaluation forms, suggested activities and other additional resources.

Download the PARKAS Manual (PDF).

Feeling is Thinking (FisT) Manual

FiST manual coverFeeling is Thinking (FisT), 2006 TheMHS (Aust & NZ) Gold Award Winner, is a comprehensively evaluated group work program designed for children (aged between 8 to 11 years) who have difficulty managing strong emotions (often exhibited through difficulties with internalising or externalising behaviours), and who struggle to successfully resolve conflict.

This intervention has been used successfully and extensively within both mental health and school settings and highlights the importance of being sensitive to the needs of those children who have come from backgrounds where they have experienced family violence.

Download the 'Feeling is Thinking (FisT) Manual' (PDF).

Download the 'Feeling is Thinking (FisT) Evaluation Report (PDF).

The Therapeutic Use of Games in Group Work (Book)

Therapeutic Use of Games in Group WorkBased on years of working with children in a variety of therapeutic groups, the RCH Mental Health Program produced a professional resource on "The Therapeutic Use of Games in Group work - When to use them, Why to use them and How to use them."

This terrific book includes a special chapter on 'Training Games for Professionals.'

This resource is practical as well as theoretically informed in its application and is as invaluable for the newcomer, as the seasoned group work facilitator.


Download the Therapeutic Use of Games in Group Work Book (PDF).

BuBs (Building Up Bonds) On Board

Building Up Bonds with children cover imageBuBs (Building up Bonds) On Board was a pilot mother/infant group work intervention trialled in five Tasmanian women's shelters in the first half of 2008.

The intervention was aimed at building up the mother/infant bond where it had been affected by family violence, whilst 'skilling up' shelter workers in both the delivery of the model and an appreciation of the potential mental health needs of infants.

The report of this pilot gives an overview of the participants, the intervention and the outcomes. It also includes an example of the process notes written up after one particular session as well as the feedback from co-facilitating shelter staff and materials given to participants.

Data collected during the intervention found there were an alarming number of mother/infant relationships in severe distress, with the majority of infants observed to be suffering from significant developmental delays. This report concludes that shelters are in an ideal position to do important and urgent work with infants affected by family violence and to enhance mother/infant bonds. It also suggests that it is important for specialist children's services and child and adolescent mental health services support this work.

Download Building Up Bonds (BuBs) Report (PDF).

"Refuge for Babies in Crisis": How crisis accommodation services and workers can assist infants and their mothers affected by family violence

Refuge for Babies in Crisis Crisis accommodation workers are often the first point of contact or "first aid" for mothers and their infants seeking refuge from family violence.

While shelters provide the physical safety, workers within them have an opportunity to provide much needed emotional safety for these infants and their mothers, beginning with acknowledging that infants are affected by family violence.

This educational resource for refuge/crisis accommodation workers consists of a comprehensive workbook, DVD, posters and pamphlets.

The package promotes working with infants who have been traumatized by their experience of family violence, while strengthening attachment relationships between the mothers and babies who seek refuge accommodation.

This informative resource will change the way workers "see" babies and infants within their services and will have a lasting impact on the incredibly important work that they do.

The project was funded by the Australian Government.

Hard copies of this resource, the DVD, posters and pamphlets can be ordered from McAuley Community Services for Women.

Download Refuge For Babies in Crisis Manual (PDF).