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Family talk with Dr Robyn Miller

While our definition of family evolves, its significance and influence in a child’s life remains.

Across Australia, we face a challenge with the increasing number of families in need of assistance. In the last decade alone, the number of children in out of home care has increased by a staggering 82%.

In the latest episode of Figuring out Families by Majellan Media, our Chief Executive Officer Dr Robyn Miller joins podcast host David O’Hearn to discuss the role trauma plays in family breakdown and the support MacKillop Family Services provides to protect children at risk of entering state care.

Exploring the main drivers of children into the protection system and the importance of understanding trauma, Dr Miller discusses the MacKillop Family Services approach, highlighting the value of building relationships and resilience, and putting these in context through past experiences and real-world cases.

“All of our staff at MacKillop are trained to understand trauma,” explains Dr Miller.

“We’ve embraced what we call the Sanctuary model, which we train everybody right from the get-go, to understand how the brain works, what’s intrusion, what are triggers, what are normal responses.”

Alongside this approach, the growth and development of early intervention services is a crucial initiative emphasised by Dr Miller.

“In Victoria, we’ve been able to engage earlier with a program called Cradle to Kinder, where we engage with the most vulnerable families referred by Child Protection. We’re able to provide that outreach, multi-disciplinary response. We partner with agencies…and we’re seeing amazing results.”

Throughout the podcast, Dr Miller outlines the extensive range of services on offer by MacKillop Family Services including foster care, homelessness and disability services, Indigenous programs and the recent success with the ReLATE education model; and how people can support children and families in their community.