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News & Events
Reaching out to women and children
December 7, 2020
Staying in touch despite the lockdown has been Emerge’s mantra this year. This was particularly the case with its outreach program which has not been able to work directly with as many women and children as usual yet still found different ways to connect.
These included providing tele-practice for arts therapy and counselling, which offered staff and women and children a glimpse into each other’s worlds.
Although not as many women and children were reached as usual because of COVID-19, Emerge case workers engaged with 56 women and children, 99% of whom were children under 18.
Throughout the year, Emerge’s volunteers and staff supported 100% of the women through the court system, and minded 120 children through our court program.
Many of the initiatives started in July 2019, including the face-to-face Women’s Counselling Service and Family Support Volunteer Program had to be suspended during lockdown but they continued virtually.
The Women’s Counselling Service started through a student placement through Swinburne University. This program is now ongoing with a qualified counsellor three days a week. The free service is for any woman who is ready to engage in one-on-one counselling to help them heal after family violence. The service extends Emerge’s traditional program of providing counselling to women in refuge to those in community.
The Family Support Volunteer Program matches a volunteer with a family to help in any way they can to support women and their children to begin afresh. This includes looking after the children while mum cooks dinner or does the washing, tutoring children, connecting the family with other community supports, enjoying some outdoor activities together or simply just being there.
The program fills a much-needed gap for families who have lost touch with their own families since escaping family violence.
Emerge is one of the few family violence services in Victoria offering an outreach program to women and children living at home with their perpetrator, or in crisis and transitional housing. The outreach program includes counselling, arts therapy, court and family support.