Our team in Queensland have been supporting this dad to connect with his newborn daughter. As he says, the support has completely changed his family’s life. Thank you to this father for […]
Keeping a family connected, any way we can
This month our teams have been connecting with families and seeing how they’re doing and what their needs might be while also letting them know that their Family Connection Packs are on the way.
Heather*, mum to Pip* (7), Alf* (4) and Mac* (3) shared with one of our team the challenges of her husband being incarcerated. She told them how the past eight months have been such a challenge with not being able to see Ben* and that the kids are beginning to lose interest in talking to him on the phone.
Ben is in custody six hours away from where they live and when visits resumed, Heather was unable to take the kids with her as the complex was not allowing children under five who are unable to be vaccinated to enter. This was upsetting and stressful for her as she had a 12 hour round trip ahead and had to find care for her kids.
“I can’t even tell the kids where I am going because they will get so upset that I am not taking them. My elderly mother does not know that Ben is in custody, I haven’t told her or the rest of the family because it is too much stress for them. We have distanced ourselves from family so we don’t have to tell them”.
Luckily, she found child care and was able to make the long trip to see Ben.
After speaking with Heather about the Family Connection Packs, she said “What a terrific plan, I think it’s great. I’m going to tell the kids that dad sent it for them to be able to do and we will send it back to him”.
Since then when our team have touched base with Heather, she told them, “The kids were over the moon so see these packs arrive in the mail, straight away they got them out and knew they were something special from dad.
“Even my three year old sat still because he has just become interested in drawing since being at day care. It made me so happy, it was something so small but huge in their eyes”.
Heather asked to pass on a message to the SHINE for Kids team: “Thank you for what SHINE for Kids is doing. I never would have known there was such a service until our lives had been turned upside down and I am grateful, I know Ben is too.”
By SHINE for Kids team member Tanya Macfie I received a referral to Stand as One for a young man, Mason*, from Frank Baxter Youth Justice Centre requesting mentoring support to assist […]
One of our wonderful long time volunteers Dennis recently reached out to us to pass on some lovely news. He and his wife had just attended the graduation of a young woman […]
Our new Birthday Program is in full swing as our teams purchase specially requested gifts on behalf of a parent in custody, pack and deliver them to many happy children! So far, […]
“Days like today are tiring but boy are they worth it. I travelled to the outing with a car full of silent children, the return trip was anything but silent.” – Priscilla, […]
By a SHINE team member I met Marty*, a dad in custody, one day at the Parklea complex while I was collecting referrals. He asked about our Storytime program and what was […]
Timothy had been in custody at Clarence Correctional Centre for eight months when he joined the Storytime program. It was his first time in custody and he was really struggling with missing […]
The day before the ACT went into lockdown in August, SHINE staff had worked with a father to complete a Storytime recording for his youngest child. The father is working to improve […]
Aaron is three years old and attends the SHINE for Kids playgroup every week with his mum Carly. They live together at Numinbah Correctional Centre while Carly is in custody. Carly approached […]
Eight months ago, Tracey was referred to SHINE for Kids and began attending our weekly playgroups so that she and her two year old daughter Millie could reconnect. Millie had been in […]
Mia, Declan and Timmy have been living with their grandmother since their dad was incarcerated four years ago. Their mum was also sent into custody two years after dad while she was […]
Every week Tamara spends an hour at school one-on-one with her RISE mentor. They work through any issues Tamara is having with her schoolwork, maths in particular has been a focus, and […]
When Henry came to Storytime he was full of excitement and said he already knew the book he wanted to make for his daughter Alana. It had been forming in his head […]
Robyn and her four children have been working with SHINE for several years but this year was a special one as they prepare for dad to return home in February 2022 after […]
Dominique’s positive relationship with her mentor continued to grow this year, despite COVID moving their sessions online
Nine year old Dominque moved in to live with her grandparents two years ago following her dad’s incarceration. While she was able to make friends at her new primary school, she appeared […]
James was set on making a fresh start at being a parent when he signed up for Keeping Us Together and Storytime at Parklea Correctional Centre. He had been in and out of […]
This year the Belonging to Family team at Kempsey have had a homecoming of sorts with the return of Karen Rhodes. Karen was one of the original creators of the Belonging to […]