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Exploring Family Inclusive Approaches Forum

5 women standing on a stage 27 June 2024

On Wednesday 19th June, MCM held the Family Reconciliation Mediation Program (FRMP) Forum at Melbourne Town Hall.

There were 75 attendees from across the Victorian youth homelessness sector, along with 18 presenters sharing ideas around this year’s theme ‘Exploring Family Inclusive Approaches: Supporting Young People to Repair Relationships and Create Meaningful Connections’.

The Forum kicked off with a warm welcome from MCM’s General Manager of Operations, Sean Spencer, which was followed by an informative presentation from Franca Butera-Prinzi (The Bouverie Centre Latrobe University) about family therapy.

MCM’s Operations Manager for Youth Early Intervention and Homelessness, Ainsley Bedggood, joined other experienced practitioners from NESAY, Quantum Support Services and FAN on a fantastic panel facilitated by Kate Colvin (Homelessness Australia). The panel discussed the benefits and considerations of family inclusive practice in their work and shared insights and strategies for improvements. Attendees particularly enjoyed hearing stories from the regional panellists and learning about the extra challenges faced in this current climate of housing insecurity and homelessness.

Attendees then heard from Kylie Winwood, a neurodivergent Speech Pathologist (The Hill Paediatric Therapy), who provided an engaging presentation about Neurodiversity-affirming supports.

Following lunch, attendees separated into three concurrent sessions, the first being a wonderful panel discussion between three young people with lived experience (Tyler, Danni and Lee) facilitated by MCM’s Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer, Douschka Dobson. The young people were incredibly insightful and had many suggestions for the attendees around inclusivity, transparency and creating safe spaces.

The second session facilitated by Jess Innes-Irons (Creative Arts Therapist at FAN) was a hands-on workshop on how art therapy can complement their work with young people in the context of family violence.

The third session facilitated by Larisa Freiverts (Anglicare) and Alice Lockrey (Berry Street), looked at whole of family approaches when working with young people who use violence. Case studies were provided, and participants learned about important considerations and questions to ask when bringing families together safely.

MCM would like to say a huge thank you to all presenters, panellists, and workshop facilitators for making this years FRMP Forum a great success!

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