SHINE for Kids: Belonging to Family Program

Barbara Cohen

SHINE for Kids
Program Manager

I am a proud Aboriginal woman from the Dunghutti Nation who was born and raised in the Kempsey NSW area. I come from a large family who have experienced the effects of Incarceration and understand the impacts it has on our children. I joined SHINE for Kids in 2010 as an Aboriginal Group Worker to facilitate the “Belonging to Family” Program at the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre. My passion is to support my people in making positive choices and to have a healthier lifestyle. This has lead me to further my education where I have gained qualifications in Management and the Community Sector.

Lloyd Gibbs

SHINE for Kids

I am an Aboriginal Man who has now been standing on Dunghutti Country for over 30 years and through my travels I have experienced the effects of incarceration upon our families. I felt the need to join SHINE for Kids “Belonging to Family” program to hopefully try to make a difference within our families. This opportunity was granted in 2011 where I partnered up with Barbie in the facilitating role. This to me was important as I could work directly with our family’s crossing over from the inside to the outside. I have extensive experience working in the Health System, Social Welfare, Civil Construction through to the Mechanical Industry with Certificates obtained in the above mentioned fields.

SHINE for Kids “Belonging to Family” Program (BTF)

The Belonging to Family Program (BTF) was established in 2010 in Kempsey NSW. BTF is a “Through Care” Program that is unique in operation because it provides a continuum from the Correctional Centre to the Community, offering pre and 12 months post release support. BTF rebuilds relationships by working directly with the Inmates and their families prior to release with the focus being on their children.

BTF addresses important issues such as children’s education, housing, alcohol and drug dependency, and domestic violence to reduce recidivism and intergenerational disadvantage so that the family unit can become stronger. BTF helps build communication skills, reduce frustration and anxiety, and helps our clients develop a realistic understanding of how the family can work together for the benefit of their children.

BTF compliments and supports existing programs within communities without duplication giving Inmates and families the best holistic support possible whilst transitioning back to community.