This July marked the first birthday of the Family Engagement Program – Unite. This is quite an achievement, with Family Life breaking out in a completely new and exciting area – working with men and women in the prison system.
Unite aims to assist prisoners to re-connect and strengthen relationships with their children and families. It’s envisaged that having positive family attachments and support upon release decreases the likelihood of re-offending and improve both individual and family functioning.
The program is in partnership with Life Without Barriers and navigates through the many different systems and processes of each individual prison, whilst also working with Corrections Victoria and across partner agencies brought with it many initial complexities.
The program has delivered the following;
- 951 clients received a service
- 156 information sessions were delivered
- 118 Education sessions were delivered
- 710 individual support sessions were delivered
Client feedback received from the last quarter included;
- out of 209 responses, the majority of participants (99%) indicated that they ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ with the statement, “I found the session helpful” (99 reported ‘agree’, 108 reported ‘strongly agree’)
- in response to the statement, “the session will help me with my family relationships”, out of 208 responses, 95 participants reported that they ‘agree’ and 97 participants reported that they ‘strongly agree’ with this statement
- out of 206 responses, 98.5% of participants indicated that they ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ with the statement, “the session provided me with information to help me improve my relationships” (98 reported ‘agree’, 105 reported ‘strongly agree’), while only 3 participants reported that they are ‘unsure’.
With many Family Life staff involved through every step of the way, from initial concept and design, to establishing and building stakeholder relationships, then onto implementation and service delivery. It’s been a real team effort. Way to go Unite!!
PS: To see the Unite Children’s Book, click here to digitally flip through this special resource.