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.

Fill in an application

QLD - Brisbane Metro

General Interests

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.

Fill in an application

QLD - North Queensland

General Interests

Stay Together, Play Together

Stay Together, Play Together

These facilitated play groups help mums and dads strengthen relationships with their children and family, increase their parenting skills and build confidence as well as develop valuable family and social networks.

The supported playgroup provides high-quality structured and unstructured play experiences for children and their mum or dad in custody. Play is freely chosen, largely self-directed, intrinsically motivated, spontaneous and fun.

A broad goal in every playgroup is to help parents in custody learn about their children’s education needs and acknowledge the significance of their role in their child’s early education. Mums and dads are empowered to take the lead and have a say in the design and selection of activities.

They are supported with a program manual which lists activities they can use in their playgroup as well as activity kits.

We developed this playgroup program from Early Years Learning Framework for Australia and while not a formal curriculum, they are good starting points for quality early childhood education.

Who is it for?

Mums and dads in custody and their children.

Fill in an application