Repairing and rebuilding relationships after family violence

Service design snapshots
Wednesday 25 July


Jeanette Miller
Australian Childhood Foundation

This presentation will explore one aspect of what matters most to families and that is the precious relationship between parents/carers and their children.

The Australian Childhood Foundation in partnership with Eastern Domestic Violence Outreach Service are undertaking one the Family Violence “demonstration models”

The main aim of this project is to enhance and extend therapeutic responses to mothers, infants and young children who have been impacted by family violence. The program positions family violence as an attack on the mother-child relationship. Infants and young children do not escape family violence unaffected. There is ample evidence now to suggest that being forced to live with and around adults who engage in violent behaviour towards others in a family is a significant source of developmental trauma for them.

The program consists of a group work model called “Popping Bubbles” where mothers/carers and their young children can begin to repair and rebuild their relationships in a fun and safe environment. The work in these groups is built on the Bringing Up Great Kids program which is underpinned by a philosophy of promoting and supporting respectful, caring and nurturing relationships between parents and their children

The group work engages the attention of infants and their mothers in activities that involve collaborative activation and regulation which is at the heart of attuned and co-ordinated intersubjective experience. Popping Bubbles delivers staged therapeutic intervention to women and their infants at the following three key developmental windows: 0- 1 years, 1-2 years and 3-4 years.