We are really excited about all the possibilities this year for SHINE for Kids, one of them being growing our RISE program on Palm Island in Queensland. Late last year our Townsville team organised a co-design with local organisations to discuss education and how we can develop RISE for the community.
Co-designs on Palm are very different to those held in Townsville because the people who attend are also community members and parents, who see first-hand where the gaps are when it comes to engaging children in school.
Sessions held over two days included discussions about the challenges many children face when they have a family member in custody, challenges such as transport to and from school and increasing engagement in education. We spoke about programs we offer and how we can fulfil needs the community may have, ranging from assisting with paperwork and facilitating visits to supporting children in school.
As the workshops progressed we noticed a lot of the parents and grandparents in the room were interested in learning more about the support we can offer families experiencing parental incarceration.
The local school has kindly offered us a space to use when we visit so that parents can have a private chat with us about how we can help them and the team are really looking forward to supporting the Palm Island community this year!
By Cilla, Townsville SHINE