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 has opened.
An Australian-first initiative from the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, the Melbourne Cubby House is based on pilot Cubby House program at the Broadmeadows Children’s Court. This award winning pilot was so successful it’s now a permanent fixture.
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 upgrades implement key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence by creating safer waiting areas for victim survivors of family violence, and better separates opposing parties involved in court matters.
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