Working in Partnership
Brighter Futures and the Jacaranda Mothers’ and Children’s Program
A Work in Progress…..
Incarcerated mothers – research shapes an idea
Mothers’ and Children’s Program – brief history and overview
Brighter Futures – Program overview and core components
A Partnership is formed – the vision and the challenges
Welcome to the Jacaranda Playgroup
Jesica’s story
Where to from here?
• Children with incarcerated parents identified as most ‘at-risk’ population in US
• Resultant generational attachment difficulties and the externalisation of negative
• Frequent changes of caregivers within the Out of Home Care system (Smyth 2011)
• Only about one third (37%) had secure attachments (Poehlman 2003) compared to
60-70% in general population
• Closure of the Mulawa Mothers and Children’s Unit in 1981
• The NSW Department of Corrective Services ‘Women’s Action Plan’ 1994
• Jacaranda Cottages opened in 1995
‘Corrective Services recognises that offending and/or imprisonment are not evidence of a mother’s lack
of desire, or ability to perform her parental duties. Corrective services recognises that continuity in the
relationship between child and mother is critical to the child’s emotional, intellectual and social
The Mothers and Children’s
• Full-time Residential Program
• Occasional Residency Program
• Classified Category 1 or 2
• Assessment Process
Brighter Futures
Families identify with one or more of the five parental vulnerabilities
Children 0 – 8
12 – 18 months program duration
Core components :
Parenting Programs (group based)
Structured Home Visiting
Early Childhood Education and Care
• Use of Structured Decision Making Tools
Who are we?
Bonny Cotter, Brighter Futures Nepean
Program Manager, Belinda McInnes, Mothers’
and Children’s Program Co-ordinator, Deb
Ennis, Brighter Futures Early Childhood
Caseworker Marian Allen and Deb Ennis
A Partnership
• ‘Captive participation’
• Supported preparation for release and post release continuation
• Longevity of Brighter Futures program can enable work throughout incarceration
• The Brighter Futures Program ‘best fit’ with aims of the Mothers and Children’s
The Supported Playgroup
Program – play, music, parenting
Informal learning
An outing
Mothers and babies one-on-one time
Parents as Teachers
Trust enables casework relationship
Jessica’s Story
Bibliography and Resources
• Loy, M. “A Study of the Mothers and Children’s Program in the NSW Department of
Corrective Services” (Paper presented at the Women in Corrections: Staff and Clients
Conference 2000)
• Stanley, E. and Byrne, S. “Mothers in Prison: Coping with Separation from Children”
(Paper presented at the Women in Corrections: Staff and Clients Conference 2000)
• Smyth, J. “Dual Punishment: Incarcerated Mothers and their Children” Columbia
Social Work Review, Volume III 2011:33
• Poehlmann, J. ‘New Study shows children of incarcerated mothers experience
multiple challenges’ Family Matters” A Family Impact seminar Newsletter for
Wisconsin Policymakers (2003, October).
• “Parenting in Prison” by Joanna Tovia in MiNDFOOD December 2012
• “Women in Prison NSW 1970-2010” (A Statistical and Policy Account) UNSW
Comparative Youth Penalty Project 2010 (

similar documents