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Working in Partnership. Brighter Futures and the Jacaranda Mothers’ and Children’s Program. A Work in Progress…. Incarcerated mothers – research shapes an idea Mothers’ and Children’s Program – brief history and overview Brighter Futures – Program overview and core components

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working in partnership

Working in Partnership

Brighter Futures and the Jacaranda Mothers’ and Children’s Program

a work in progress
A Work in Progress…..
  • Incarcerated mothers – research shapes an idea
  • Mothers’ and Children’s Program – brief history and overview
  • Brighter Futures – Program overview and core components
  • A Partnership is formed – the vision and the challenges
  • Welcome to the Jacaranda Playgroup
  • Jesica’sstory
  • Where to from here?
research
Research
  • Children with incarcerated parents identified as most ‘at-risk’ population in US studies
  • Resultant generational attachment difficulties and the externalisation of negative behaviours
  • Frequent changes of caregivers within the Out of Home Care system (Smyth 2011)
  • Only about one third (37%) had secure attachments (Poehlman 2003) compared to 60-70% in general population
background
Background
  • Closure of the Mulawa Mothers and Children’s Unit in 1981
  • The NSW Department of Corrective Services ‘Women’s Action Plan’ 1994
  • Jacaranda Cottages opened in 1995

‘Corrective Services recognises that offending and/or imprisonment are not evidence of a mother’s lack of desire, or ability to perform her parental duties. Corrective services recognises that continuity in the relationship between child and mother is critical to the child’s emotional, intellectual and social development.’

the mothers and children s program
The Mothers and Children’s Program
  • Full-time Residential Program
  • Occasional Residency Program
  • Classified Category 1 or 2
  • Assessment Process
brighter futures
Brighter Futures
  • Families identify with one or more of the five parental vulnerabilities
  • Children 0 – 8
  • 12 – 18 months program duration
  • Core components :
  • Casework
  • Parenting Programs (group based)
  • Structured Home Visiting
  • Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Use of Structured Decision Making Tools
who are we
Who are we?
  • Bonny Cotter, Brighter Futures Nepean Program Manager, Belinda McInnes, Mothers’ and Children’s Program Co-ordinator, Deb Ennis, Brighter Futures Early Childhood Facilitator

Caseworker Marian Allen and Deb Ennis

a partnership
A Partnership
  • ‘Captive participation’
  • Supported preparation for release and post release continuation
  • Longevity of Brighter Futures program can enable work throughout incarceration period
  • The Brighter Futures Program ‘best fit’ with aims of the Mothers and Children’s Program

Challenges…..

Excitement…….

Perseverance…….

Flexiblity …….

the supported playgroup
The Supported Playgroup
  • Facilitators
  • Program – play, music, parenting
  • Informal learning
  • An outing
  • Mothers and babies one-on-one time
  • Skillbuilding
  • Parents as Teachers
  • Trust enables casework relationship
bibliography and resources
Bibliography and Resources
  • Loy, M. “A Study of the Mothers and Children’s Program in the NSW Department of Corrective Services” (Paper presented at the Women in Corrections: Staff and Clients Conference 2000)
  • Stanley, E. and Byrne, S. “Mothers in Prison: Coping with Separation from Children” (Paper presented at the Women in Corrections: Staff and Clients Conference 2000)
  • Smyth, J. “Dual Punishment: Incarcerated Mothers and their Children” Columbia Social Work Review, Volume III 2011:33
  • Poehlmann, J. ‘New Study shows children of incarcerated mothers experience multiple challenges’ Family Matters” A Family Impact seminar Newsletter for Wisconsin Policymakers (2003, October).
  • “Parenting in Prison” by Joanna Toviain MiNDFOODDecember 2012 (www.mindfood.com)
  • “Women in Prison NSW 1970-2010” (A Statistical and Policy Account) UNSW Comparative Youth Penalty Project 2010 (http://cypp.unsw.edu.au/node/120)