With funding from Corrections Victoria, the Victorian Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (VACRO) will provide women in prison increased support to maintain and strengthen family ties.
The Family Visits Program supplements existing personal visits and targets women who are seeking family reunification or strengthened family ties.
Following a successful pilot, the Family Visits Program is offered at Tarrengower Prison and the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre – providing additional structured support for meaningful visits with family and children, by trained and dedicated Family Visits Workers.
Strong family bonds are one of the key factors in reducing a person’s risk of reoffending after release from prison. The program connects female prisoners with their families via fortnightly or weekly visits.
Supporting women and participating families to positively engage with each other can improve children’s happiness and wellbeing, increase women’s confidence in their parenting abilities, and improve reintegration outcomes for women leaving prison.
Participants of the program, both the women in prison and their family members in the community, will receive intensive support from the Family Visits Workers, building their capacity for positive communication and making family decisions as women prepare to transition back to their families.