New child trauma centre opens in Armadale

New child trauma centre opens in Armadale

Parkerville Children and Youth CEO Kim Brooklyn tours the new facility with Minister for Police Paul Papalia and Minister for Child Protection and Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Sabine Winton.

Most parents would openly say they’d ‘do anything’ to protect their children – a seemingly instinctual urge which they’d put above their own welfare.

So, it’s hard to reconcile the fact that last year there were nearing 2000 disclosures of child sexual assault in WA, according to Dr. Hamish Mckenzie, the Detective Superintendent of the Western Australia Sex Crimes Division.

What’s even more confounding is that over two-thirds of these attacks on children happened inside the child’s own home.

The right kind of support is available for children who do bravely disclose a sexual assault, because of a pioneering partnership between WA Police and Parkerville Children and Youth Care based right here in the City of Armadale.

The unique Multi-agency Investigation Support Team (MIST) sees specialised Parkerville team members including psychologists, advocates, family therapists, domestic violence experts, and allied health practitioners provide vital therapeutic and psychological support to children and families – supporting them from the time of disclosure, through police interviews and investigations, to court proceedings and beyond, for as long as the family requires.

This enables the WAPOL team to focus on the investigation and criminal proceedings, knowing the children and their families are receiving the support and assistance they need.

WAPOL’s Southeast Child Sexual Assault Team is co-located with Parkerville on site at a new multi-million-dollar specialist centre in the Armadale Shopping Centre, which officially opened its doors last Wednesday.

The new 934-square-metre George Jones Child, Youth and Family Centre replaces the old centre, previously located next to the rail line, and is the result of a partnership between Parkerville, Metronet, and the state government.

Parkerville CEO Kim Brooklyn said the extension of Metronet to Byford had meant the previous centre was no longer fit for purpose. It had, however, opened the doors to an improved facility in a central location.

“We have been and continue to be absolutely supportive of the Metronet extension and the positive impact it will have on the communities it services, particularly Byford,” she said.

“The consequence of that extension was that we needed to relocate the centre – but we had incredible support from the state government in helping us to make that move, and we are now in a much better area for these services, with increased accessibility.

“We’ve also been able to deliver a purpose-built fit-out for the new centre, designed around trauma-informed practice, with soft lines and imagery to create a sense of calm and safety for children and families.

“The additional space means we have also been able to introduce new and expanded services, which is a fantastic outcome for the community we serve.”

Two new services which will feature as part of the George Jones centre include a specialist Family and Domestic Violence Advocate specifically focused on children and young people affected by FDV and child sexual abuse.

A new Homicide Support Service dedicated to providing specialised psychological assistance and assessments to children, young people, and families who have been impacted by homicide will also be welcomed into the space.

The new centre will also house a number of Parkerville’s essential services:

  • Youth Services – including support for young parents to prevent their children entering the child protection system and youth homelessness crisis accommodation services;
  • Our Way Home – an innovative and award-winning out-of-home care service focusing on reuniting families where safe, and if this is not possible, maintaining strong connections with safe family and culture; and
  • Therapeutic Services – specialist therapeutic services to children and young people who have experienced significant trauma including sexual, physical, psychological and emotional abuse.