New pilot to support youth experiencing domestic and family violence
A first of its kind pilot to provide holistic, trauma informed and family centred support for accompanied children and young people has received around $5.2 million in funding.
The pilot, which will run across two locations - Dubbo and Blacktown - is funded to June 2026, and has been specifically designed to support children and young people who are accompanied by an adult seeking assistance for homelessness or being at risk of homelessness due to domestic and family violence.
Minister for Women's Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Assault, Jodie Harrison, said the pilot would ensure wrap around support was extended to the most vulnerable victim-survivors of family violence.
“When women flee domestic violence with children, it is often an urgent and desperate escape that leaves them feeling confused and displaced,” Ms Harrison said.
“The Accompanied Children’s Support Service will be focussed on addressing the lived experience of children and young people who have survived family violence and help to empower them to regain a sense of control over their lives.
“What makes this program unique compared with other similar funded initiatives is that a multidisciplinary team of five workers will be onsite to deliver support at both Specialist Homelessness Services.”
Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Rose Jackson, said the pilot was the first of its kind in delivering counselling, broader mental health and other supports, along with brokerage to help fund educational programs and social and recreational activities for children who have experienced family violence.
“Many adults who suffer from persistent homelessness had their first experience of homelessness before the age of 18, highlighting the importance of early intervention,” Minister Jackson said.
“The pilot program support includes culturally safe responses which improve social and emotional wellbeing for Aboriginal children and young people, as well as their families and communities.”
The two locations earmarked to run the pilot program are Dubbo in regional NSW through Orana Support Service and Blacktown in Western Sydney through Domestic Violence Service Management (DVSM).
Orana Chief Executive Officer Tina Reynolds said the pilot is already supporting 70 children and young people who are currently enrolled in the service.
“Since this pilot began just a short few months ago, we have already had some great outcomes with the children and young people referred into the program,” Mr Reynolds said.
“Being able to pilot this program and provide such an essential service for our most vulnerable victim-survivors of domestic violence demonstrates not only the trust the community and government have in us to deliver this critical work, but also our commitment back to our community to make a significant difference in the lives of our regional youth.”