Thursday, 27 June 2019

Dandenong MDC Highlights

By Saihini Naidoo

SECASA has counsellors at 12 locations across the South Eastern Metropolitan region of Melbourne. The Dandenong office is responsible for teams that are located in Packenham, Cranbourne and Dandenong. The Dandenong office is co-located with Victoria Police and Department of Health and Human Services staff.

What has been happening at the Dandenong Multi-Disciplinary Centre?

Training with Victoria Police 

The Dandenong Multi Disciplinary Centre (MDC) took part in a consultation and training session related to trauma and informed practice with members of Victoria Police. Time was spent discussing how Police can be more inclusive when engaging with victims of sexual assault and family violence.
The importance of asking specific questions when engaging with victims was brought to light, to ensure the minimisation of victim re-traumatisation.

Other forms of training and development

  • The creation of a sensory room to support best practice
  • Workers concentrating on best therapeutic practice through discussion, team meetings, supervision, training, presentations 
  • Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) Pilot in Family Violence - this involved SECASA, Victoria Police and WAYSS (assisting individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness)
  • Involvement in first response system with clients - the aim is to strengthen legal response to family violence and support victims in crisis 
  • Joint presentation at National Family Violence conference (VIFM and SECASA)
  • Family Violence group in Cardinia and Casey – SECASA Chair and Coordinator 
  • Monthly Information Sessions for local Professionals

Participant numbers and other statistics

Response to individuals needing counselling in the Dandenong area has been ongoing. In March – May 2018 counsellors at Dandenong saw a total of 110 females and 16 males. 102 were sexual assault related and 21 were family violence related. Counsellors also had 70 presentations at the Dandenong crisis care unit and Dandenong duty workers took 22 phone intakes.

Groups run at Dandenong this year

  • Protective Behaviour groups for children and parents
  • Young Women’s group
  • Sexuality Workshop
  • Women who have had a long term relationship with an offender of sexual abuse
  • Reflexology group

Events attended 

On Saturday 25 November 2017, SECASA attended the White Ribbon walk in Pakenham. The walk was hosted by the Cardinia Family Violence Network and was facilitated by MP Brian Paynter.

The theme of the walk was Safe kids, Safe communities and the event attracted the involvement of over 300 people who shared the common goal of preventing family violence.

Community assistance was gratefully received from the following organisations:

  • Bayside Quilters – (Quilts)
  • Mt Waverley Patch workers – (Quilts, dolls, blankets)
  • Country Women’s Association – (Quilts, care packs, children’s packs, trauma dolls and teddies)  
  • Share the Dignity – (flowering plants and women’s care packs)  
  • Backpacks for Kids Victoria – (age and sex appropriate overnight bags)
  • Hands Off Foundation – (various donations to SECASA clients ie: foot baths, computer vouchers, packs for children in protective behaviour groups.)

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