Five years of healing little hearts in Ipswich

6 April 2020





Act for Kids is proudly marking five years supporting vulnerable children and families in Ipswich.

Hon Dr David Hamill AM, Act for Kids Chairman, said the celebration held in February was a wonderful occasion to recognise the positive impact Act for Kids’ services are making in the local community.

“In the last five years, Act for Kids has supported almost 100 children and young people to overcome the trauma of child abuse or neglect. I’d like to say a special thanks to our incredible team here in Ipswich for the outstanding work you do each and every day,” Dr Hamill said.

Attending the celebration, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women Di Farmer said the services delivered played an essential role for the community.

“They work to link families and children who come to the attention of Child Safety on the Darling Downs and far west regions to services they need to help with personal and domestic challenges.

Integrated therapy in Ipswich is offered to children and families to help them raise happy, healthy kids and enjoy positive family relationships,” she said.

Ms Farmer said demand for family support services was constant and particularly needed when communities experienced challenged such as financial hardship, domestic and family violence, drug misuses and other stressors.

With a staff of just four members, Act for Kids’ Ipswich centre has supported 98 children and young people since opening and, currently, have 35 families from across the greater Ipswich area enrolled in our family support programs.

Bianca Heaphy, Act for Kids Psychologist and Team Leader in Ipswich said we help families, children and young people feel understood, accepted and validated.

“We educate children and young people on personal safety skills and learning the warning signs to feeling unsafe.”

Act for Kids in provides a multidisciplinary approach of psychology, occupational therapy and speech therapy, offering children and families comprehensive support and assistance.

“Our integrated team help children who have experienced [or at risk of] abuse and/or neglect develop skills that most children take for granted, such as making friends, regulating emotions, reading and comprehension, and how to eat with utensils.”

“Being able to provide an integrated therapeutic service in Ipswich enables our families to attend one service in lieu of three separate services – this is a huge win for families who live vast distances away from the area where there are little or no services available to them.”

“We are passionate about our service in the community and thank our wonderful partners and donors who sponsor and support our service, because, without their donations, we would be unable to provide this service to our most vulnerable children and families.”

Joseph’s story

At just eight years old, Joseph had already witnessed years of extreme domestic violence, and drug and alcohol abuse at home. After his mum was sent to prison, Joseph lived in three foster homes.

When Joseph came to Act for Kids, he had rarely ever been to school. He had fallen behind academically and found it difficult to cope with his frustration. He was aggressive toward his older and younger siblings. Joseph wasn’t coping, and he didn’t have the skills to help himself.

Our aims for Joseph were to help him achieve at school, interact better with his peers, and become more aware of his personal safety and how to protect himself.

Joseph is now keeping up with his class in reading, writing and maths which has resulted in reduced frustration. His foster carer has strategies in place to support Joseph and his siblings to make safe choices around people and places. Joseph is frequently able to identify when his body is starting to feel ‘out of control’ and use a strategy to break the escalation.

Thanks to your support, Joseph has already moved from surviving to thriving.

To help us support more vulnerable children like Joseph, please click here.