The CPS Therapeutic team utilises a whole-of-family approach. The participation of family members and carers in the therapeutic work is vital to the healing of the child or young person. The team’s approach also acknowledges the devastating impact that sexual abuse can have on families and those that care for the child or young person by ensuring that they too receive support.
The CPS Therapeutic Services team are experienced and well qualified. They use a range of therapeutic tools, mediums and interventions including play, puppets, painting, drawing, sand tray and other techniques depending on the child’s age and stage of development.
CPS Therapeutic Services also provides specialist training and support to organisations who may be working with children and young people who have been harmed by the trauma of sexual abuse or who may be exhibiting problematic sexualised behaviour. This includes childcare services and schools who may require help to understand and manage the behaviour of children who use their services. Supporting the work of others who work with children and young people is also extremely important to us.
Mary is 17 years old. It is her last counselling session after a long three year journey.
“I’ll miss you” she says to her counsellor.
Three years, three words. Broken family ties, courts and police, rebuilding family ties. Belief. A wider world with meaning, where before there was bewilderment.
This is one of many stories that lay hidden behind the statistics. However, amidst the excitement of innovation and striving for continual improvement, Mary’s comment keeps the Therapeutic Services team grounded. Counselling is a relationship built on trust and holding open a door of hope.
Funded by the Victorian State Government as one of 26 family violence early intervention pilots across the state, Children and Mother’s in Mind (CMiM) is an Australian first program for mothers and children (four years and under) who have experienced family violence and no longer live with the perpetrator.
CMiM recognizes that women who have experienced family violence often lose confidence in their ability to parent effectively, particularly if their parenting is or has been undermined or criticized by an abusive partner, leading to isolation and unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Incorporating practice elements originating from Canada, this 22-week evidence informed program will be available at five trial sites across Victoria and be jointly delivered by Children’s Protection Society, Anglicare Victoria, Caroline Chisholm Society, Barwon Centre Against Sexual Assault/Minerva, Merri Outreach Support Services, McAuley Community Support for Women, Vincent Care and Quantum Support Services.
CMiM takes a “two generations” approach and focuses on both the mother and child(ren). Clinicians will adopt a gendered method to working with clients, fostering mother/infant bonding based on relational trauma and attachment theory. The underlying case work component throughout the program, in addition to therapeutic work, distinguishes CMiM from a mere counselling or case work model of intervention.
Children and Mother’s in Mind will specifically:
It is anticipated more information about contact details and access pathways will be available by the end of June.
At CPS we give children and young people who have been affected by sexual abuse an opportunity to share their experience and express their feelings in a safe environment.
Research shows that children who are listened to and believed following their disclosure, and who are supported through a specialist therapeutic approach are more likely to heal from their abusive experiences. Research also suggests that children and young people find the therapeutic process helpful.
Therapeutic Services at CPS aim to:
Children who have displayed problematic sexualised behaviours often require support and the opportunity to explore where their behaviours have come from, including feelings and triggers which may influence these behaviours, feelings they may have about themselves and how they can change these behaviours.
At CPS we support young people to take responsibility for their actions, empathise with their victims, and learn strategies to change and control their behaviour. Our experience tells us that it is helpful for a young person to be given the opportunity to identify and understand their thoughts, feelings and actions. This enables them to modify behaviours that may have previously placed them and others at risk.
Research tells us that without specialist intervention it can be difficult for young people who have engaged in sexually abusive behaviours to change. Indeed, a young person may be more likely to re-engage in sexually abusive behaviours if they have not received therapeutic support as they may not have the internal resources and supports that can assist them in not repeating these harmful behaviours.
Many adult offenders report that their offending began during adolescence. Research supports the idea that early intervention is highly successful in stopping young people from sexually offending in adulthood.
Read more about the purpose and benefits of counselling by downloading the following;
All counselling through the Therapeutic Services program is provided at no cost to families. To speak to someone about this program, please call 03 9450 0900 or email email@example.com.
Supporting preteen girls (aged 10-12), Girls Group also aims to assist the girls as they transition from primary to secondary school and provide them with additional therapeutic support to their individual counselling.
Weekly activities in the inaugural Girls Group have included arts & crafts, dance therapy, yoga, puppetry, expressing emotions using music and movement and a fun excursion.
Another Girls Group will be conducted next year from a date yet to be determined. Please contact the Therapeutic Services Intake Worker on 9450 0900 or firstname.lastname@example.org for expressions of interest.
To be eligible, girls need to reside within the following districts;