A Ray of Sunshine program launches for children experiencing domestic and family violence

A Ray of Sunshine program launches for children experiencing domestic and family violence

On Tuesday 11 April, a local innovative pilot program was launched called the Sunshine Hut.

The program delivers early intervention for children who have experienced domestic and family violence, and this was aided by a grant of more than $127,000 from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.

Jenny’s Place crisis accommodation residents will have access to the Sunshine Hut program, where they will receive treatment from provisional psychologists and postgraduate students, under the guidance of an experienced clinical supervisor.

Chair of Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, Jennifer Leslie said the program aims to improve outcomes for children who have experienced domestic and family violence.

“This grant will support the operation of the Sunshine Hut clinic, helping over 50 children receive expert help to recover more quickly from trauma and build resilience,” Jennifer said.

“It’s early days for the Sunshine Hut, but already there are 12 families engaged in the program, and all current casework staff are booked in for training in June. Jenny’s Place will then be able to assess this innovative pilot and ensure it can be rolled out more broadly.”

Jenny’s Place Executive Manager, Marcia Chapman said the grant from the Charitable Foundation would help the Sunshine Hut ensure children who have experienced domestic and family violence have improved family relationships.

“The effect of domestic and family violence on children is profound and trauma can impact every aspect of their lives,” Marcia said.

“Children are unable to articulate their feelings and can act out, have low self-esteem, have trouble concentrating and can struggle to build trusting relationships. This can impact their lives into adulthood and lead to mental health issues including anxiety and depression, and drug and alcohol abuse.

“Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation’s grant will enable us to develop a trauma informed, best-practice program that helps to improve the parent-child relationship and foster healing for these families, which can be implemented across other services in the community.

“We are extremely grateful to the Charitable Foundation for this incredible opportunity.”

IMAGE | Jennifer Leslie (Chair, Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation), Marcia Chapman (Jenny’s Place Executive Manager), Saskia Behan (University of Newcastle supervising psychologist), and Tim Crakanthorp (State Member for Newcastle) (left-right).

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation

The Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation distributes around $1.5 million in grants each year to facilitate charitable projects to address disadvantage in local communities throughout the Hunter, Central West, Central Coast, New England, Mid North Coast, and Northern Rivers regions of NSW. Since its establishment in 2003, the Foundation has provided more than $25 million to more than 540 community initiatives.

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