New Cubby House provides a safe place for children at Melbourne Children’s Court

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Media Release - 18 April 2018

What: new Cubby House launched at Melbourne Children’s Court
When: Wednesday, 18 April at 4.30pm
Where: Melbourne Children’s Court, 447 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne

New Cubby House provides a safe place for children at Melbourne Children’s Court

A new safe and supportive sanctuary at the Melbourne Children’s Court for vulnerable children whose lives have been disrupted by violence, neglect, disputes or complex family legal matters will be launched this Wednesday.

An Australian-first initiative from national children’s charity, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, the Melbourne Cubby House is based on a pilot Cubby House program at the Broadmeadows Children’s Court.  This award winning pilot was so successful it’s now a permanent fixture.

The Melbourne Cubby House’s retrofit is part of an $800,000 refurbishment by the Andrews Labor Government to make the court more child-friendly and to ensure it meets the requirements of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

The new purpose-designed space includes a series of pods – a quiet pod, a reading pod and a playing/multi-purpose pod.

The Cubby House been designed to bring a feeling of the outdoors inside, using grass and pebble concepts for the floor colours. The room is gender-neutral and a textural wall provides acoustic quality. Tree murals with moveable leaves and fruit provide children with interactive spaces to be entertained and create their own shapes and stories.

A trained youth worker from the Alannah & Madeline Foundation provides activities, entertainment and distraction for the children and a safe place to rest. This helps to reduce further trauma at an incredibly stressful time for them.

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s CEO, Lesley Podesta, congratulated the Andrews Government for making the needs of children a priority.

“Supporting vulnerable children affected by family violence is a much needed and critical investment in the health of our community,” Ms Podesta said.

“Children are so often the invisible victims of violence. The Cubby House has proven to reduce the impact of trauma and helps promote wellbeing by providing a positive and supportive environment for young ones in the care of Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) staff.”

 

Attorney-General Martin Pakula congratulated the Alannah & Madeline Foundation for its work to help provide a supportive environment for vulnerable children at court. 

“The Cubby House program helps to support vulnerable children and gives them a safe place at court. We’re proud to be funding the Cubby House space – which is already a proven success at Broadmeadows – at the Melbourne Children’s Court.”

For more information, contact Deborah Morris at the Alannah & Madeline Foundation on 0450 784 847 or at deb.morris@amf.org.au

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