While our definition of family evolves, its significance and influence in a child’s life remains.
Across Australia, we face a challenge with the increasing number of
families in need of assistance. In the last decade alone, the number of
children in out of home care has increased by a staggering 82%.
MacKillop Family Services Chief Executive Officer Dr Robyn Miller
joins podcast host David O’Hearn to discuss the role trauma plays in
family breakdown and the support MacKillop Family Services provides to
protect children at risk of entering state care.
Exploring the main drivers of children into the protection system and
the importance of understanding trauma, Dr Miller discusses the
MacKillop Family Services approach, highlighting the value of building
relationships and resilience, and putting these in context through past
experiences and real-world cases.
“All of our staff at MacKillop are trained to understand trauma,” explains Dr Miller.
“We’ve embraced what we call the Sanctuary model, which we train
everybody right from the get-go, to understand how the brain works,
what’s intrusion, what are triggers, what are normal responses.”
Alongside this approach, the growth and development of early
intervention services is a crucial initiative emphasised by Dr Miller.
“In Victoria, we’ve been able to engage earlier with a program called
Cradle to Kinder, where we engage with the most vulnerable families
referred by Child Protection. We’re able to provide that outreach,
multi-disciplinary response. We partner with agencies…and we’re seeing
Throughout the podcast, Dr Miller outlines the extensive range of
services on offer by MacKillop Family Services including foster care,
homelessness and disability services, Indigenous programs and the recent
success with the ReLATE education model; and how people can support
children and families in their community.