Adoption equality starts now

From 1 September 2016, the Adoption Amendment Act 2015 came into effect, meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) couples can now apply to adopt in Victoria.

As a provider of Adoption and Permanent Care Services, Connections has followed this topic with great interest and welcomes this important amendment.

For a long time it has been our belief that Victoria’s Adoption Legislation was outdated and did not reflect the basic human rights of prospective LGBTI applicants. It is pleasing to finally see the Victorian Parliament also recognise this antiquated attitude and make the necessary changes.

We know there are many healthy infants who require a loving home but for many years have been denied this access because the Act excluded the LGBTI community.

This change now provides LGBTI couples with the same rights as any other couple to provide a loving home to a child looking for its forever family and will provide more opportunities for children to be matched with the best possible family.  

The changes also reflect that a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is distinct from their capacity to be a loving and caring parent.

We again would like to acknowledge the role of the Premier Daniel Andrews and the Minister for Equality, Martin Foley in advocating for rights of same-sex couples and reiterate our full support of this amendment.

Prospective parents should contact the Department of Health and Human Services or an approved adoption agency to apply.

Visit dhs.vic.gov.au/adoption for more information.

Volunteers urgently needed for Home-Start program

Connections' Home-Start program reaches out and supports parents who are struggling in their parenting role due to a variety of reasons by matching them with a volunteer who will offer a family friendship and practical help for a period of 12 months.

Home-Start aims to connect families to support networks and help parents build stronger relationships with their children.

Home-Start Volunteers offer their time freely; most are parents or grandparents themselves.

Volunteers are linked to families on a one-to-one basis and receive training, ongoing support and supervision from the Home-Start Coordinator.


Do you have two hours to spare each week?

Do you have parenting experience?

Do you want to give back to your community?

Do you like to learn new things and meet new people?


Find out more at a free information session

When: Wednesday 10 February 2016
Time: 10:00am – 11:00am
Where: Upper Yarra Family Centre, 2444 Warburton Hwy, Yarra Junction

Contact 03 9724 2222 to register your attendance or for more information click here.

Home-Start Volunteer Information Session

10 Feb 2016

Connections and MacKillop Family Services to launch an Australian-first in Out of Home Care

The Concurrent Care program accredits families as both Foster and Permanent Carers so they are able to care for a child for as much of their journey from temporary care to permanency as possible.

With the support of the Phyllis Connor Memorial Trust, Connections UnitingCare and MacKillop Family Services have partnered to develop an Australian-first in Out of Home Care for children under the age of three.

  • When: Thursday 14 May 
  • Time: 11:00am -12:00pm
  • Where: Prahran Mission, 211 Chapel Street, Prahran 3181
  • RSVP: Friday 7 May to Christine Luk rsvp@connections.org.au or 03 8792 8999

Refreshments provided.

 

11 Mar 2015

Promoting Positive Family Interactions through Music

Connections’ Music Together is a music therapy program that helps enhance family relationships, attachment and communication between parents and young children through music, instrument play, drama, dance and creative arts.

Aimed at children aged up to five years old and their parents or caregivers, Music Together provides a safe and welcoming environment that promotes positive interactions between parent and child over a 45 minute structured music therapy session.

“The sessions provide an active and fun environment for children and enable them to develop social skills through song and dance. They love the entertainment,” said Ms Isabel Chua, Music Together Coordinator.

Music Together sessions are conducted by qualified Music Therapists, with the Uniting Church and community volunteers assisting to ensure the groups run smoothly.

Each session is aimed at not only developing positive relationships between parents and children, but also enhancing the mood and outlook of parents. Positive parents help create a safe, welcoming, and loving environment in which their children live and grow.


» FIND OUT MORE
If your congregation is interested in being involved, contact Connections' Music Together Coordinator on 03 9871 0221.

For parents wanting to register for a session or learn more about the program, visit connections.org.au/musictogether

Tuning in to Kids

Are you on the same wavelength as your child or the children in your care? A parent/carer’s program in 6 sessions to help you tune in to the child in your care.

Would you like to learn how to:

» Be better at tuning into your child’s emotions?
» Be better at understanding your child?
» Help your child learn to manage their emotions?
»Teach your child how to deal with conflict?

Feedback has shown that Tuning in to Kids helps children:

» To calm down when distressed
» Get along better with other children
» Express their emotions in more appropriate ways


Who: Parents and carers of young children up to 10 years of age
When: Tuesday 17 February - 24 March 2015 
Time: 12.30pm - 3.00pm
Where: Connections UnitingCare, 55 Webb Street, Narre Warren
Cost: Gold coin donation.

Bookings essential.


Contact: Judy Chu 03 9704 8377 or Megan Clarke 03 5990 8400

17 Feb 2015 to 24 Mar 2015

National Families Week

Each year, tens of thousands of people and hundreds of organisations celebrate National Families Week - Australia's annual celebration of families.

The aim of National Families Week 2014 - the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family - is to celebrate the vital role that families play in Australian society. The 2014 theme is 'Stronger Families, Stronger Communities'.

This year's theme highlights the important role families play as the central building block of our communities and that community wellbeing is enhanced by family wellbeing.

National Families Week is a time to celebrate with your family, make contact with your extended family and friends, and share in the enjoyment of family activities within the wider community. It is a time to celebrate the meaning of family and to make the most of family life.

National Families Week coincides with the United Nations International Day of Families on 15 May. This day is observed by the United Nations to mark the importance that the international community places on families as the most fundamental units of society, as well as to show concern about their situation in many parts of the world.

Connections recognised National Families Week as part of the inaugural Connections UnitingCare Conference - Making a difference in the lives of children and families.

For more information about National Families Week, click here.

15 May 2014
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