Kelly Family Foundation | Berry Street
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Berry Street

About This Project

About Berry Street

Berry Street believes that all children should have a good childhood, growing up feeling safe, nurtured and with hope for the future. They work directly with children, young people and families affected by the impact of family violence, substance abuse, mental illness, poverty and unemployment.

About Berry Street’s Take Two Program

Berry Street’s Take Two program is a Victoria-wide program funded by the State Government to provide intensive therapeutic services for children of all ages who have experienced serious abuse and neglect and who are child protection clients. Many, but not all, of these children are in out- of-home care.

Childhood Trauma

Childhood trauma and neglect can lead to physical and emotional dysregulation that can mean a child or young person finds it difficult to feel in control of their own body, emotions and behaviours. One way of understanding and hence feeling more in control is through putting together the information we get from our senses. Traumatised children often have problems processing information coming in from the outside world from touch, smell, taste, sight and the way the body moves in space. Traumatised children can experience these senses in ways that aren’t always clear to others, and differences might not be apparent to the child either.

The need for a Mental Health Occupational Therapist

Developments in the field of neuroscience highlight the importance of better understanding the physical and sensory needs of infants, children and young people and the way these needs then interact with feelings and behaviours. With a better understanding,  more comprehensive and better targeted interventions can be provided to help children heal from the trauma of abuse. The task of responding to children’s sensory needs requires new professional expertise from a Mental Health Occupational Therapist to complement the current Take Two workforce of psychologists, social workers and nurses.

Kelly Family Foundation Commitment

The Kelly Family Foundation are proud to support Berry Street’s Take Two Program to employ a Mental Health Occupational Therapist who can lead this new initiative within Take Two. We have made a financial commitment to fund this role for a period of three years – July 2015 until  June 2018. The Mental Health OT will work within the Take Two team conducting individual assessment of infants, children and young people, as well as helping others conduct sensory assessments where appropriate. Recommendations will be made to help the infant, child or young person manage their sensory environment and to improve their feelings and behaviour.

We support