SHINE Volunteer Portal

NSW - Sydney Metro

Stand As One Youth Mentoring

Child & Family Centres

Child and Family Centres

Visiting a prison can be a daunting experience for anyone. Our Child and Family Centres provide a welcoming child friendly place for families and children to drop in when visiting their loved one.

Parents, carers and family can drop in to one of our centres to have a cup of tea and relax before or after visiting family in prison. Visitors can use the time at the centre to speak with staff or share their problems and challenges with other parents and carers.

Children can also enjoy this time to play or make friends with other children. This time can help build a child’s confidence and self-esteem while also helping them to feel more relaxed about visiting their parent. Parents can also leave their children at the centre if they don’t require supervision.

Families new to the prison system often have no idea of what to expect or how the process works. During a drop in, we can explain how we can help them in other ways or provide referrals to relevant community agencies. Families leave feeling more at ease and with a better understanding of what assistance is available.

We also partner with various food charities, depending on the location, who often deliver food supplies to the centre for pick up by parents and carers for home if needed.

Who is it for?

Parents and carers and their families can take advantage of the drop-in program before or after their prison visit.

Where is it?

Our Child and Family Centres at Correctional Centres operate within the grounds of some Correctional Centres (usually a cottage or near the car park). Activities vary depending on the centre.

Child & Parent Days

Child and Parent Days

These unique days are an opportunity for a parent in prison to spend quality time with their children without other family members present.

During the four hours together within the prison, the parent gets to connect with their children in a more relaxed way than a regular prison visit. They can move about the space and enjoy time together playing games, making craft and eating lunch without the other carer present. These activity days are held during school holidays.

Parents in prison must gain approval from their Correctional Centre to attend a Child and Parent day. Applications open about 10 weeks before the day as there is a strict approval process to go through. Look out for the brochure and poster with details of the event and how to apply in the wings and visiting areas of the Correctional Centre.

Sometimes, grandchildren, nieces or nephews may be able to go if there has been a close relationship with their relative. Again, you must get approval from the Correctional Centre through the formal application process.

Let your loved one know that they need to contact their coordinator in prison if interested.

Who is it for?

Parents in prison who have approval from their Correctional Centre

Where is it?

In the prison area – generally in an outdoor recreational space or indoors in one of the larger recreational areas at some Correctional Centres.

Keeping Us Together

Keeping Us Together

This parenting program helps mums and dads in custody develop their parenting skills and build positive, healthy relationships with their children.

Keeping Us Together uses the evidenced-based parenting program Bringing Up Great Kids to help mums and dads reflect on their own childhoods and what may have influenced on their parenting, understand their children’s brain development, emotions and behaviors, and build their confidence in parenting.

After several group workshops, mums and dads are able to put what they’ve learnt into practice through our prison visits program (COVID-19 permitting).

The focus of the sessions is to build parent’s skills and confidence so they can strengthen their relationship with their child and improve communication.

This program includes 12 hours of in-custody support (6 sessions of 2 hours).

Who is it for?

Mums and dads in custody

Stand As One Mentor

Stand As One

This program helps young people in the juvenile justice system rebuild their life when they leave the Centre.

Four to six months before release each young person is matched with one of our adult mentors to help prepare them for living in the community. The young person gets support with practical life skills such as getting a Medicare card, finding a house to live in, or looking for work. They also get to talk with their mentor about their expectations, goals, family relationships and how to manage in the community. The program continues for another six to eight months once they leave the Centre.

The program aims to reduce the risk of reoffending. We know that young people in the juvenile justice system who have experienced a parent in prison are at a higher risk of imprisonment in the adult justice system themselves. A mentor gives the young person the level of support needed to help them establish themselves in the community.

Our only youth justice mentoring program, we have been matching young people with adult mentors since 2010, successfully transitioning them from juvenile justice back into the system and breaking the cycle of reoffending.

Who is it for?

Young people in the juvenile justice system aged 16-21.

Where is it?

Frank Baxter Centre Juvenile Justice Centre, Kariong


Stand As One

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