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From a six-week-old baby to an excited teenager, Child & Parent Day all about having quality time with mum

The energy was great as families arrived for our Child & Parent Day with their mums at Silverwater Correctional Centre.

As the children came into the centre and went through the security checks, one boisterous little three-year-old girl showed off her sparkly outfit, which she had worn just for her mum, and everyone oohed and ahhed appropriately leaving her grinning ear to ear!

The twenty children who attended ranged in age from only six weeks old to 18 years old and just couldn’t wait to have this rare special bonding time with their mums.

“It’s their time,” says our team, “I try to sit back and just be there for help but not get in the way. It’s the first day like this we’ve been able to have in a long time. The mums wanted to get every minute they could with their kids, and the kids just wanted to get in.”

One mum’s baby was only nine days old when she was incarcerated, so the day was incredibly emotional for her. She spent the entire time cuddling her little baby and bonding, making up just a little for precious time apart.

We assisted some families with transport to the day, making it possible for those without a car and with limitations to make it, like one grandmother who dearly wanted to take her daughter’s child to the day but is blind, so can’t get out alone.

The 18-year-old came up to our team at the end to say thank you, “one hour is not enough,” they said, referring to regular visits.

There were plenty of activities to help everyone ease into the four hours of time together and fill it with laughter and good memories, including face painting (with everyone having a chuckle as the mums painted the kids, and then the kids had a turn painting mum!), sports, board games, toys and lots of crafts including jewellery making and painting canvas tote bags.

Some families played ball games, creating family teams, and versing each other for a little fun competition!

The little kids LOVED this, running around together just like they would at home. Usually, in visits, children need to stay at a table most of the time, which makes it hard for them to connect with their parent as they get fidgety and want to move about.

Our team said, “Seeing all the kids smiling and no sad faces was amazing. It’s more normal for them to see mum like this than in regular visits.”

There was so much exciting news for the children to tell their mums as well.

The area was full of chatter the entire time! One of the teenagers had just gotten their licence and couldn’t wait to see her mum’s face when she told her. The mum and daughter talked every minute of the four hours.

The 18-year-old came up to our team at the end to say thank you, “one hour is not enough,” they said, referring to regular visits.

One grandmother said, “The older kids need this time with their mum to tell her about school and life and everything going on without a rush.”

For most of the mums, slipping back into a parenting role came very naturally. One mum needed a little support from our team as she has multiple children with high needs who all wanted her attention.

It was our pleasure to help and make sure she had quality time with all of her children separately so they all had a chance to speak with her.

While the event took place, the children’s carers, mostly grandparents, had the chance to relax in our Silverwater Cottage on-site and chat with each other, bonding over their shared experiences.

One grandmother said, “The older kids need this time with their mum to tell her about school and life and everything going on without a rush.”

The next time our team saw one of the mums, she came over and said, “Thank you so much for organising today! I am so grateful. Nan told me that the kids passed out from tiredness in the car on the way home!”

Every moment together helps families heal and bond so that when they can be together again, the transition is a happy time with relationships built on strong bonds.

Thank you to Family and Community Services for supporting transport for families.

Please donate today and help make events like this happen. 

From a six-week-old baby to an excited teenager, Child & Parent Day all about having quality time with mum

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