Sutherland Shire Family Services (SSFS) is dedicated to providing services that lead to safety and wellbeing. It aims to support and strengthen the capacity of families, particularly those impacted by disadvantage, violence and trauma. It addresses the needs of families and individuals and offers advice and support, case management, parenting support and education, targeted group work programs and home visits for families with limited mobility, as well as timely links and supported referrals to other appropriate services.
SSFS also works to raise awareness around the issues of domestic violence and trauma in families. Its educational programs, including Toolbox Talks and the Pull Ya Head In campaign, are an important part of changing the conversation around family violence.
SSFS has implemented innovative and creative initiatives that have attracted government funding as well as support from the philanthropic sector. The organisation sees the value in measuring and communicating its impact and has partnered with UNSW to develop an impact measurement report on its Building Resilience in Children (BRIC) program. It has continued to expand its reach, with its activities no longer limited to the Sutherland Shire.
The PAYCE Foundation’s relationship with Sutherland Shire Family Services has seen the commitment of $326,818 over the last five years. A further $100,000 is committed in FY21 to support a range of programs from domestic violence prevention to post-trauma support and counselling, under the name of Building Resilience in Children (BRIC).
Initially, the PAYCE Foundation funded the Domestic Violence Case Work Project, which provided services to 35 women and children a year. During this time, the Foundation also helped develop an anti-domestic violence video campaign, Pull Ya Head In, as well as Toolbox Talks, a domestic violence education program for the construction industry.
In 2018, the PAYCE Foundation committed $300,000 over three years to support the Building Resilience in Children (BRIC) program. BRIC is an early intervention program that aims to foster attachment between young children affected by domestic violence and their safe primary caregiver, as well as reduce the impact of trauma that is the result of exposure to domestic violence. Part of the BRIC funding will allow SSFS to conduct an evaluation of the program, which will be undertaken by the University of Wollongong.