The purpose of this program is to respond to children and young people’s experiences of witnessing or experiencing domestic and family violence, and the trauma resulting from this. DVAC uses an integrated approach by engaging with both the child or young person and their mother or caregiver.
Research and practice have shown us that engaging solely with a child has its limitations. We believe that it is vital to provide support to both child and mother (or carer). As a result this has created a greater understanding and awareness of the impacts domestic and family violence has on children, young people and caregivers themselves. We want the experience of counselling to be a pleasant one. Our counselling with young children and young people differ – with young children it is play based, whereas with young people it might be conversational or activity based and client led. Counselling is an opportunity for women, children and young people to discuss and explore their experiences when they are ready and in their own terms. Counselling at DVAC normally involves 15 appointments, usually one hour long and it is both a combination of individual and joint sessions. Joint or individual sessions are determined and informed by family members and counsellors.
Women need to contact DVAC and request counselling for their children. After an initial over-the-phone conversation, the service worker will provide women with a date and time for an intake appointment. At the intake appointment, background information is gathered regarding the child/young person and their experience of domestic/family violence. At this appointment women will have the opportunity to meet one of the counsellors involved and ask any questions or clarify things in relation to the program. There are limited counselling spaces outside school hours; every effort will be made to fit everyone at their preferred time however at times this may not be possible and we will appreciate your understanding.
Please call DVAC: 07 3816 3000 for referral process.