Children’s Services

Gunditjmara’s Children’s services division meets the needs of young children in our community, ensuring they receive the care they need and are connected to culture.

Our Services
Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making (AFLDM)

Encourages Family Members, extended Family, Elders, other significant people in the child’s life and when appropriate, the child and /or young person to get together, make decisions and a plan that promotes the safety and well-being of children and young people who are involved in the Child Protection system. All Aboriginal Children who have become involved with, or at risk of entering the Child Protection system can access culturally appropriate support and advocacy.

Regional Family Violence Services

Provides a culturally sensitive, safe confidential, professional advocacy and support services to Indigenous women and children living in South West Victoria who have experienced or are affected by Family Violence.

Personal Support

Court Support

Counseling

Advocacy

Transport

Crisis accommodation

Referrals to: Housing , Legal Advice, Income Support, Financial Counselling

Cradle to Kinder

The Cradle to Kinder program is an intensive ante and postnatal support service to provide longer term, intensive family and early parenting support for a group of vulnerable young mothers and their children. The service commences in pregnancy and continues until the child reaches four years of age.

Parents are supported to build their capabilities to provide for their child’s health, safety and development, as well as developing their own self-reliance through links to education, vocational training and employment.

Aboriginal Kinship Care

Aboriginal kinship care is care provided by relatives or friends to an Aboriginal child who cannot live with their parents, where Aboriginal family and community and Aboriginal culture are valued as central to the child’s safety, stability and development.

Leaving Care

Leaving Care has a range of services and supports to assist young people aged 16 to 21 years of age to transition from out-of-home care to independent living and adulthood.

Cultural  Planning

A cultural plan is one part of a holistic approach to planning for vulnerable children and young people in out-of-home care. Established cultural plans are essential for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care to maintain and strengthen their Aboriginal identity, and encourage their connection to their Aboriginal culture and community.

The Senior Advisor – Aboriginal Cultural Planning role,  actively trouble-shoot barriers to completing the cultural plan and provide the plan to the chief executive officer for endorsement. The chief executive officer may set the review date for the cultural plan earlier than the usual 12 months.

Koori Pre School Assistant Program (KPSA)

The KPSA program provides a Cultural Education service to kindergartens across the region including Warrnambool, Koroit, Hawkesdale, Purnim and Allansford.

Kindergartens with Koori enrolments receive a fortnightly visit with sessions running on average for an hour. Most sessions involve the whole group of children who learn about Aboriginal Culture, Dreaming stories, local language and can take part in art activities. Children get to interact with the stories often using Australian animal puppets and other props.

Koorramook Koori Playgroup

The Koorramook playgroup runs on a weekly basis, including during school holidays, from 10.30am to 12.30 at the Harris Street Reserve Building providing families with a Culturally safe venue for children to develop socially and educationally through play. The playgroup run in alignment with the Early Years Learning Framework and often gives children and families with the opportunity for new experiences through excursions.

Children and parents/carers are provided with a healthy lunch/snack during the session. We also have a short session of ‘mat time’ where children often have a story and are encouraged to join in with our own ‘Acknowledgment to Country’, that they are learned.

The playgroup is aimed at not only a time of socialising and play time for children but also as an educational environment for parents and care givers.

Integrated Family Services (IFS)

IFS provides a wrap around, holistic support for children and families. IFS supports families to engage and provide referral pathways to further support services where needed and also acts as an advocate where necessary. Supports families in goal setting and creating strategies in order to achieve the aims of keeping our children and families safe.