What a week it's been! As safety precautions around COVID-19 responses escalate, Sutherland Shire Family Services have quickly adapted operations to ensure ongoing safety of staff and clients.

Today our "Building Resilience in Children" (BRIC) Team have been "practicing what they preach", showing incredible resilience themselves in quickly adapting their programs to online formats. Today, they delivered their Healing Connections program via video conference, showing families that even when times are "extra" tough, support is still available.

Today's 2 hour group program was a great success, with all participants staying engaged and contributing to the group discussion - adapting to the new format. The video conferencing session allowed us to share our slides, YouTube clips and other media, as we would normally do in our in person sessions. 

While this was a great start to our online transition, allowing us to continue delivering support to families we work with, the team are now brainstorming other creative ways to modify future sessions to continue to engage and deliver quality programs that provide personal growth opportunities for families.

Healing Connections is a 7 week therapeutic parenting group and is the first part of our BRIC program that includes group activities and individual counselling. Today’s session was Week 4 and focused on what happens in the brain when kids lose control of their emotions, how kids who have experienced trauma can get stuck in a Survival Loop and how, no matter what has happened in the past,  we can form new positive patterns of behaviour by providing stability, routine and a nurturing, calming environment.

The BRIC program is designed for women who have been impacted by domestic violence to help them better understand the impact DV has had on their child, help them develop strategies to support their child and rebuid their relationship now that they have left the DV and are physically safe.

Supported by PAYCE Foundation, our BRIC program works intensively with safe caregivers and their children over a period of up to 8 months to rebuild a secure attachment between them.