Our kids in Victoria had an amazing experience thanks to Deloitte Digital who helped us deliver our first Technology Day to some very excited kids! A group of seven 10 to 14-year-olds […]
Storytime helped Timothy repair his relationship with his sons
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 out on major milestones in his two young son’s lives and was feeling ashamed and unsure about how to talk with them. This is his story.
“I work in metal fabrication at the prison and a group of us men all did Storytime together. We were talking about Storytime after the program and about how much it affected us. It helped me connect with my kids as it gets hard to know what to talk about when you become incarcerated. This is my first time in prison, you are all caught up focusing on yourself and trying to cope. You feel shame and don’t know how to talk to your kids any more. I’ve missed so much in 8 months, their first day at high school, their birthdays, Christmas, first win at soccer, Anzac day – I always marched with my boys and the scouts. I was feeling real bad about myself as a dad and was avoiding talking on the phone as I was a bit down.
I got to write a book about my son’s toy Pterodactyl and him being a hero saving his dad from a T-rex. I rang my boy up after the first session and asked him to make up names for his three dinosaurs. He started really getting into it and would look forward to a phone call so we could discuss what happens next. I stayed up till midnight trying to get all the ideas into a story format. My son’s reaction to the books was incredible. When he opened the parcel he put the book I wrote him under his pillow that night and took it to school the next day. I felt so proud. It lifted me it really did.
I rang up my kids again a week after they got the books and recordings and I could hear this man’s voice in the background and I said, ‘who is this man in the house, I can hear him talking?’ My wife said, ‘That’s you! The kids have had your voice recording on repeat all day and just want to hear your voice again and again. They want to make photocopies of it for all their friends.’
Since doing Storytime things have changed. Now we have something we can relate to together and now I read to my kids every night and we talk about the books SHINE sent. Even my 12 year old boy is telling me about the book I chose for him.
They have started writing to me after Storytime (they never wrote much before) and I write straight back. It’s made me feel valued as a parent again – I can’t wait to be with my kids when I get out. I can’t explain how much it has impacted on us. I wish every parent got to do Storytime. It made me feel like being a parent again. It’s made me realise that I never want to be away from my kids ever again.”
By staff member Abbey Kenaly Over the past six weeks, seven mums have been participating in Keeping Us Together at Dillwynia Correctional Complex. The most rewarding part of facilitating Keeping Us Together is seeing the […]
Our RISE team in Frankston, Victoria have reported some big wins for their kids this year! While the team say all of the kids in RISE Victoria have shown admirable growth, they […]
Every week our Clarence Valley RISE team makes a special trip. They load up the car with activities and worksheets and drive about 75 km northwest of Grafton to visit Baryulgil, a […]
Our RISE Clarence Coordinator has been connecting with incredibly resilient children and their families across the Clarence Valley. One of these students is Adam*, who is 9 years old. Adam was referred […]
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 […]
Charlie* is in custody at Parklea and is dearly missing his 4-year-old daughter Amelia*. Before he was incarcerated, Amelia and Charlie would read together every night at bedtime. He approached SHINE for […]
By our Windsor Child and Family Worker I’ve worked with a family with mum in custody at Dillwynia for over two years. When I first met the family, the children were six […]
Mason* has spent most of his teenage years going between out-of-home care and custody. He’s no longer in contact with his family and finds it difficult to maintain positive relationships. Mason was […]
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 […]
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 […]