A mobile therapy bus based in Ballarat and Moorabool Shire is helping children and young people recover from family violence as part of a $21 million investment in therapeutic interventions for victim survivors.
Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams said the Van Go Therapy bus was staffed by therapists and travelled to schools and other locations to offer tailored therapeutic support including art, music and play therapy to infants, children and young people.
Thanks to ongoing investment from the Andrews Labor Government almost 100 adults, children and young people in the Central Highlands will be supported by the therapeutic interventions each year, with 40 per cent of the funding dedicated to children and young people.
The Van Go Therapy bus, which will be expanded to Golden Plains (Meredith) and Hepburn (Creswick) during the first year and across other LGA’s in the Central Highlands over time, provides individual creative therapy.
It also offers group therapy for children and young people to address issues such as social isolation, including a ‘Little Picasso’ group for children aged under five and a ‘Da Vinci’ group for primary school children.
Group therapy sessions for parents and carers provide support for parenting and attachment issues while sessions for carers teach them how to use play therapies at school or at home with children.
The Family Violence – Creative and Therapeutic Services Consortium formed by support group WRISC, Ballarat Community Health and Berry Street is one of 13 mainstream organisations across Victoria to receive a share of the funding for therapeutic interventions.
This includes $5 million for therapeutic interventions for Aboriginal communities, with Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative funded to provide services for Aboriginal families in the Central Highlands.
The Royal Commission into Family Violence highlighted the need for therapeutic interventions that are well-tailored to the diverse identities of Victorians and focused on the needs of children and young people.
Quote attributable to Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams
“The Royal Commission told us that children and young people need tailored interventions to help them recover from the trauma of family violence and we’re funding innovative ideas that help them do this.”
Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle
“This delightful idea uses play, art and music to help infants, children and young people undergo creative therapy to help them on their journey of recovery after surviving family violence.”
Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison
“The Van Go Therapy bus is one of a number of great ideas bringing children and young people the treatment they need to work through the aftermath of family violence and rebuild their lives.”