Our stories

“I can tell her that today mummy got a certificate for finishing a program that is going to help us.”

There was a real sense of achievement in the room on the day 10 mums in custody at Dillwynia Correctional Centre graduated after completing our Bringing Up Great Kids program over six weeks.

One of the mums, Amy*, shared with the class the challenges she’s faced learning how to best support her son, who has autism. She said he can display difficult behaviour, and she’s always found it hard to deal with.

Amy shared with the group that she has learnt so much from the program and what stood out to her most was understanding children’s brain development and how it’s related to their behaviour.

“I have loved coming to this class. I usually keep to myself and don’t share much, especially about my kids. I have opened up so much in this course and have been happy to share.

“It’s been good to hear others have struggles too, and we are just lucky to have this to come to and better ourselves.

“At the end of the day, we are all in this together, and when you have kids that we can’t hug and kiss, it’s hard. Doing things like this helps us to be better. I always leave this class so happy because I know I’m doing good things. I’m sad it’s over; I want to do it again.”

It was such an amazing feeling in the room, and our facilitator couldn’t have been prouder of how far they’d come in such a short time.

The sessions were full of open discussion and sharing, and the group bonded over shared experiences and wanting to be better mums for their children when they return home.

Mum Sharn* said, “Today is my daughter’s fifth birthday. It’s so sad that I can’t be there for it, but I can tell her that today mummy got a certificate for finishing a program that is going to help us.”

A lot of these women have faced hardship in their lives and did not have support themselves as children to thrive.

Tiana* said, “This is the first thing I have ever got a certificate for. I am happy to have finished something.”

At the end of the last session together, the women came up one by one to get their certificates as the whole group cheered and clapped for each other.

It was such an amazing feeling in the room, and our facilitator couldn’t have been prouder of how far they’d come in such a short time.

Some of the mums brought in pictures of their children to show the group as they talked about the things they’d do together as a family one day. It was a very special moment.

Bringing Up Great Kids is a parenting program that supports parents to better understand their children and form better relationships.

*Names of participants have been changed to protect their identities

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Bringing Up Great Kids is supported by Corrective Services NSW. 

By Abbey Kenaly 

“I can tell her that today mummy got a certificate for finishing a program that is going to help us.”

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