Children and young people do not escape family violence unaffected. It destabilises the foundations of their development and undermines the strengths of their relationships which can overwhelm them.
Experiences of family violence define what children can say when and to whom. It dictates what they should think. It determines how they should react. It sometimes makes the truth a secret.
For children, family violence often disconnects them from their family, their community and their place in the world. It disrupts how everything works. It forces their routines to be less certain, less predictable. Children experience loss as a result of family violence. They sometimes have to leave behind their room, their home, their neighbourhood. Some have to change schools. They miss their teachers, their friends.
Finding the courage to leave a violent relationship and rebuild the life of their family requires mothers and children to meet many complex challenges. The aftermath of family violence can affect the ways in which children and mothers interact. It can affect the confidence of mothers to understand and meet the developmental needs of their children. In the mix, there is the need to understand whether to and/or how to involve the parent who has acted violently. This one day workshop explores all of these elements and supports practitioners to work in a child focused and relationally reparative context with parents and children following experiences of family violence. It is grounded in the extensive work of the Australian Childhood Foundation in the family violence sector where their ongoing focus on supporting children who have experienced violence is long acknowledged and well respected.