Infant Wellbeing

Infant Wellbeing

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 therapists and case managers are only too aware that one of the immediate impacts of violence on women and children is the disruption of the bond between mother and child.

We work with both the mother and infant through play and infant-led therapy to find ways to enhance reconnection and repair of the attachment beginning from 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” and pioneer of thePeek-A-Boo Club™ program for infants and mothers who have experienced family violence.

Emerge now offers the Safe Nest Group program, adapted from Peek-a-Boo Club™, prioritising mums and babies experiencing homelessness or transitional housing. This program is an 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. This research project is proudly funded by ANROWS in conjunction with Swinburne University and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Emerge also offers assistance for mothers and infants (dyads) who would prefer direct therapeutic support. We then continue to offer ongoing support, either formal or informal, to these mums and babies until they are ready to move on.

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