A high percentage of children who arrive at our refuge are babies and infants who have been traumatised by the experience of family violence in their lives.
At Emerge, our focus is on rebuilding the mother-child relationship. Our case managers are only too aware that one of the immediate impacts of violence on women and children is the disconnection in the bond between mother and child.
We work with both the mother and infant through play and therapy to find ways of helping them reconnect in the early stages of their time with us.
Emerge’s work in infant well-being is influenced by the work of Australian expert Dr Wendy Bunston, author of “Refuge for babies in crisis. How crisis accommodation services can assist infants and their mothers affected by family violence.”
One of our pioneering programs is the Peek-A-Boo Club™, a mental health program for infants who have experienced family violence. Emerge have been offering this program since 2013. The program is infant led approach incorporating arts therapy that focuses on the relationship between the mother and the infant, which is a fundamental starting point for the healing process to begin.
Emerge also offer one to one assistance for mothers and infants who may find it difficult to be part of a group. We then continue to offer ongoing support, either formal or informal, to these mum and babies until they are ready to move on.