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New program on offer to support children and families in the South Coast region

Save the Children Australia is offering a new program to support the emotional recovery of children and young people affected by the recent bushfires in the South Coast.

The Journey of Hope program is designed to help children cope with collective trauma, develop their natural resilience and coping strategies, and strengthen their social support networks.

A new online module is also available free of charge to parents and carers, to provide them with practical knowledge and tools for identifying triggers and stressors, practicing self-care and have increased capacity to support children.

Save the Children’s Executive Director of Australian Services, Matt Gardiner said the organisation understood the need for ongoing support in the South Coast region.

“We understand that the recovery needs of the community didn’t stop because a global pandemic hit,” said Mr Gardiner.

“We’ve been working hard to adapt our program to ensure we were ready to support you and your children.”

Normally, Journey of Hope is delivered face-to-face in schools by specially trained support workers. But in response to the COVID-19 restrictions they are also being made available online.

Save the Children is seeking expressions of interest from schools in the South Coast region which would like to see the Journey of Hope program offered to their students.

“The first online module is now available free of charge to parents and carers,” said Mr Gardiner.

“As schools reopen and health regulations allow, we aim to offer Journey of Hope face-to-face starting from Term 3.”

The organisation has advertised a number of positions available for local residents to be trained and employed to deliver the Journey of Hope program in the community.

“We know that local people understand local needs best. That is why Save the Children is hoping to find local candidates to help rollout the program in the area,” said Matt Gardiner.

Between November 2019 and March 2020 Save the Children supported almost 1800 children, parents and carers in 17 communities by setting up Child Friendly Spaces in evacuation and recovery centres and providing mobile outreach services once centres were closed.

Find out more about Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program here

Journey of Hope is free for eligible schools affected by the 2019-20 bushfires