AFV (Restoring Childhood), Berry Street

Program theory

Berry Street’s Adolescent Family Violence (Restoring Childhood) program offers therapeutic and case management support to young people (aged 12-17 years old) and their families, where an adolescent has used violence in the home. 

The program utilises an ecological model to understand young people’s use of violence and recognises that a young person’s use of violence is situated within several complex and inter-related systems. Many young people who use violence may concurrently be experiencing attachment difficulties, mental health vulnerabilities, drug/alcohol misuse, risk of homelessness, disengagement from education along with childhood experiences of family violence and family discord. The program encompasses all these complexities, whilst maintaining a family violence and trauma-informed lens when considering the most effective therapeutic interventions for these young people and their families.  

Target group

Young people aged 12-17 years and their families. 

Program components

Berry Street’s program is newly funded and still evolving in its program design.  

The current focus is on providing a holistic model of support for young people within the context of their family. This involves developing Family Goal and Intervention Plans that may include one or a combination of family and therapeutic interventions, individual therapy or case management for some of or all members of the family.  

The program uses an assertive outreach and engagement approach to increase the safety of victim survivors and to support safe, healthy and respectful family relationships. 

The program is attempting to incorporate lived experience through a co-design process. It is envisioned that family therapy, art therapy and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) will be key clinical interventions that will feature as the program design continues to evolve.    

The AFV (Restoring Childhood) program has utilised brokerage for a range of supplementary supports for families including purchasing specific external therapeutic interventions and assessments; relational activities to encourage family connection and relationship building; and the provision of basic needs to ensure safety and stability at times of crisis. 

Program duration

Medium to long term intervention – no less than 6 months. 

Service area 

Local Government Areas of:  

Banyule, Darebin, Hume, Moreland, Nillumbik, Whittlesea or Yarra. 

Eligibility 

Program will prioritise adolescents who: 

  • live with a single female caregiver or parent  
  • are living with younger children  
  • are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander 
  • are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless or involved with the youth justice system because of their use of family violence 

Referrals

Referrals are received from 

  • Orange Door  
  • Child Protection  
  • Professionals from other services (secondary consult also available) 
  • Schools 
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