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NSW Government funding ensures Wesley Mission continues to help mums and kids live well

28 October 2016 Wesley Mission news

Wesley Mission’s Mums and Kids Matter is an innovative program helping mothers with severe and complex mental health needs to remain with their young children. Thanks to renewed funding from the NSW Government, we can now continue this ground-breaking work for a further three years.

Pru Goward at Mums and Kids Matter

Minister for Mental Health Pru Goward said the NSW Government has committed $9 million to ensure the program continues to provide residential based care at Sadleir in south-west Sydney.

Since it began in 2014 the program has cared for and supported 73 mothers and their children.

“Mums and Kids Matter is a one-of-a kind program directly helping women with severe and complex mental illness and their families. There is no program like it operating in Australia,” Ms Goward said during a visit to the program.

“A key aspect of Mums and Kids Matter is the focus it has on addressing not only the health and parenting needs of participants but also the social, economic and accommodation issues facing mothers with severe mental illness and their families. In fact, our early data shows just how fantastic this program is. When they entered Mums and Kids Matter, 12 per cent of the mothers were homeless and a further 28 per cent were at risk of homelessness. On exit from the program all mothers were housed.”

Funding announcement Mums and Kids Matter

Mums and Kids Matter delivers individually tailored, holistic, family-focused care and support to address the needs of mothers with mental illness and their young children. Our support addresses needs including complex mental and physical health, parenting support, accommodation, vocation and education and disability.

The CEO of Wesley Mission the Rev Keith Garner said Wesley Mission was delighted that funding for the program had been continued.

“Mums and Kids Matter has been a wonderful example of collaboration between government and non-government specialist providers so that mothers with mental health issues have the opportunity to recover while being with their children,” Mr Garner said.

“The program is unique in that it provides an integrated approach to treatment and care that includes medical/biological, psychological, social and values based approaches.  It also draws from the many support services of Wesley Mission such as accommodation support when leaving the program, financial counselling, life skills and mental health support and counsel.

“Mums and Kids Matter is not just a parenting program, although improving mother-child relationships and the ability to parent are key elements. This is a program that addresses the complex needs of mothers with a severe mental illness, in order to improve their quality of life, care giving and family relationships.

“The program is preventing hospitalisation, reducing the risk of homelessness, while also providing assistance to improve their social and economic outcomes of mothers and their children.”