For the past 40 years, SHINE for Kids has adapted, innovated and advocated to keep families connected.
Our dedicated team of coordinators, facilitators and managers have adapted our services and supports during the pandemic to ensure children with a parent in prison are supported across NSW, Qld, ACT and Vic.
This dedication is supported by evidenced-based research to ensure our practice and advocacy is informed by diverse voices of expertise.
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, our advocacy work for children with a parent in prison increased considerably and our impact in the justice space has grown. These accomplishments include:
- Embarking on the Amplify Your Voice Project to make the voices of children experiencing parental incarceration heard in state and federal governments. As part of this, we made a detailed submission to the NSW Inquiry into Children with a Parent in Prison in 2020. In 2021, a Vic Inquiry into Children with a Parent in Prison was announced following our advocacy with local Member of Parliament Rod Barton.
- Our team members have held positions on a number of community and legal advocacy committees
- We have commissioned ground breaking research led by Monash University on the impact of COVID-19 on children with a parent in prison
- We have commissioned an external evaluation of our RISE Education Program with Western Sydney University
- We celebrated the outcomes of the external evaluation of our Keeping Us Together parenting program which is now delivered across three states, including WA where we launched services in 2020.
- Consistently over the last four years we have grown our reach from 15 prisons to 32 prisons and continue to work with state governments and private prison providers to ensure every child with a parent prison is supported.
- We are members of the national #RaiseTheAge campaign, advocating for the age of criminal responsibility to be increased to at least 14 years old in Australia so that children are no longer sent to prison. Through our advocacy here we have also drawn attention to the overrepresentation of children with a parent in prison in the juvenile justice system.
- We launched adaptive services including our unique Storytime program and Family Connection Packs
- Following our Impact 100 Sydney win in 2020, we have launched a new mentoring program Stronger Pathways Together with partners CONFIT aimed at young people in juvenile justice.
- In 2022, we partnered with Monash Univesity to develop and conduct the first national survey of families where a parent is in custody.