MacKillop Family Services merges with Cara Inc to enhance supports for vulnerable young women

Posted on 1 Nov 2016

MacKillop Family Services will assume management of Cara Inc services, strengthening the capacity of both organisations to achieve positive outcomes for young people in care.

Cara has a long and well-regarded history of delivering high quality support to vulnerable young people, in particular to pregnant and parenting young women in the child protection system. MacKillop values this history and is committed to continuing the Cara model of specialist care.

MacKillop Family Services CEO Dr Robyn Miller said the change strengthens the programs delivered by both MacKillop Family Services and Cara.

“The merger introduces MacKillop Family Services to the eastern region of Melbourne and provides both MacKillop and Cara with opportunities to innovate, jointly advocate, and increase the positive outcomes of our work through shared skills, resources and knowledge,” Dr Miller said.

Both organisations share common values, in particular their commitment to social justice and hope. They also share a commitment to trauma-informed approaches to care. Staff and carers will be guided by the Sanctuary Model – a trauma-informed framework – to form supportive and caring communities, and to heal the social and emotional scars that result from exposure to trauma in childhood.

Cara Inc CEO Lauren Bean will continue to oversee Cara services as a member of the MacKillop Family Services Senior Management Team.

“Our merger with MacKillop strengthens our ability to support the young people in our care. We have the opportunity to learn from MacKillop services to build upon the great work we do, particularly in the areas of home-based care and foster care,” Ms Bean said.

The merger presents an opportunity to expand Cara’s successful specialist support to pregnant and parenting young women in care.

“Demand for a place at Morgan House, Cara’s mother and baby service, continues to grow and this merger provides the opportunity for this unique service to expand,” Ms Bean said.

Dr Miller believes a focus on supporting vulnerable young mothers will ensure better outcomes for their children, and reduce the impact on the child protection system.

“A focus on the specialist mother and babies service provides us with the opportunity to offer holistic support to pregnant young women and interrupt the generational cycle in the child protection system,” Dr Miller said.

Cara Inc services will be known as Cara at MacKillop.

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