Considerable research has shown that children with a parent who offends, or who is in prison, are at greater risk of mental illness, social isolation, behavioural issues, and reduced educational prospects. The emotional trauma that these children experience, and the practical difficulties of a disrupted family life are often compounded by the negative social stigma that these children face.
This is a very real problem in Tasmania, and one that is multifaceted and difficult to address. Over the past 12 months, a group of government and non-government agencies have been working collaboratively in order to improve the quality of life for children and families affected by the offending behaviour of a loved one. The commitment to work together to support this vulnerable group of children has resulted in some great outcomes. The identification and sharing of resources and the creation of professional training and familiarisation programs has been outstanding.
While this information has been disseminated well within the Hobart region, the working group, Children Affected by Parental Offending (CAPO), is conscious that these resources would also be of significant benefit to many agencies throughout Tasmania. To this end CAPO plan to conduct a Roadshow in North and North West of the state. These presentations will be tailored to suit the needs of the various organisations who work with children affected by parental offending.
During a three-hour presentation the team will showcase the training and support resources available and aim to marshal the existing resources of our agencies to productively focus on this very vulnerable segment of society.
The CAPO team is made up of professionals from Onesimus Foundation, The Salvation Army Communities for Children, Save the Children, JusTas, Catholic Care, Lady Gowrie, Tasmania Police, Communities Tasmania, Tasmanian Government Department of Education, Department of Human Services and the Department of Justice Community Corrections and Tasmania Prison Service.
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