CHILD YOUTH & FAMILY SERVICES
Welcome to the Child, Youth and Family services page. We recognise that connection to culture, family, community, and Country is important when building strong Aboriginal communities.
When you work with us, we will ensure that your voice is heard. Our aim is that you receive the care, support and opportunities for connection to culture and community that best supports you. We believe that everyone has the right to live a happy and healthy life and we are here to walk beside you every step of the way. We understand that you are the expert of your life and we are committed to listening and empowering you throughout your journey.
Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making
Making A Difference
This program is about supporting and advocating for all Aboriginal children involved with the child protection system. Our primary focus is to make sure children are safe and supported culturally. We want to encourage family members, extended family, Elders, and any other significant people to be part of the planning making and decisions that are central to children's wellbeing. We believe in the importance of family and culture and we understand how important this is for children through challenging times.
Cradle To Kinder
Suppoting Them Every Step of the way
The journey from pregnancy to preschool is such an important time for young mums, dads and their Boorai’s (babies). At Gunditjmara Child Youth & Family Services we believe in making sure all our families are supported. If you are a young Aboriginal family, or single mum who is experiencing a stressful life situation including financial pressures, social isolation and limited support we are here to help you. Young pregnant Aboriginal women or women pregnant with an Aboriginal child (under 25 years) are all welcome to be part of our program. Referrals can be made directly by external agencies, by families themselves or through Child First program. To have a yarn about how we can support you, please get in touch today.
Aboriginal Kinship Care
Showing We Care
It is such an important aspect of Aboriginal culture staying connected and feeling supported by your community. Aboriginal Kinship Care is about maintaining these bonds during times when an Aboriginal child might not be able to live with their parents. Care is then provided by relatives or friends within the community to maintain and support these relationships with children. We want to see a child grow, feel safe and feel supported. This program helps provide this.
Showing We Care
A Cultural Plan can be a powerful and effective way to develop a more holistic, child-centered, community focused approach, ensuring support for some of our most vulnerable children and young people in out of home care. The goal of this planning is to establish and maintain a child’s sense of wellbeing, identity, belonging and connection to their Aboriginal culture. A Cultural Plan for a child ensures the best possible outcomes in a considered and meaningful way.
Koori Pre School
Exploring And Learning
Our Koori Pre School Assistance Program provides fun-filled support and services to kindergartens across the region including Warrnambool, Koroit, Hawkesdale, Purnim and Allansford. Kindergartens with Koori children enrolled receive a fortnightly visit to support and encourage children’s learning whilst maintaining the presence of their heritage and cultural identity. These sessions generally run for an hour and may involve the whole class. These are a valuable opportunity for all children to learn about the wonderful Aboriginal Dreaming stories, culture and local language through art and play. These classes are engaging and delightfully interactive with the stories often using Australian animal puppets to share and create learning through role-play and storytelling.
Koorramook Koori Playgroup
Helping Them Grow Strong
Our Koorramook playgroup runs on a weekly basis and continuing into the school holidays. We provide a friendly and welcoming place to meet, have a yarn and provide a great place for our children to play. Children learn in a safe and supported space where Aboriginal heritage and culture is an important element of their learning. The program is aligned with the Victorian Early Years Learning Framework and the playgroup gives children and families the opportunity for new experiences through an interactive and creative program.
Doing What Is Needed
We are invested in an innovative approach that empowers our community and delivers the support they need, The Better Futures Program is all about supporting our Aboriginal youth to be strong, independent, healthy individuals. Designed specifically for youth age between 16 and 21 years this program is for those currently in custody, or are the guardianship to the Secretary.
Intergrated Family Services
It is important to support all our families involved with Child Protection and/or those that refer themselves to our program. Sometimes we all need a little bit of help to navigate life’s challenges and we encourage you to seek out support should you feel you need assistance. We can do this by creating and implementing something called an Action Plan. This action plan offers pathways to finding solutions and seeking support. Contact us today and discover how we can help you.
Targeted Care Package
A Care Package is tailor-made specifically to suit each individual child. Our aim is to provide culturally safe and considered support that will encourage happy, healthy, strong children and growing young adults when needed. They will be provided with opportunities to participate in a variety of events and programs. They will be supported with a Cultural Mentor to guide and encourage them. It is our aim all children have the opportunity to remain connected with Community and Culture and our goal is to support them in meaningful ways.
Cultural Mentor Services - Gunditjmara provides cultural mentoring services to other organisations.