Family Mental Health Support Services

A flexible and responsive service for children and young people up to the age of 18 who are at risk of, or affected by a mental illness, and their families.  By working with the children, young people and their families to identify risk factors or issues which may lead to poor mental health outcomes later in life and work with the child, young person and their family to address these issues and strengten protective factors.

Program includes:

  • Information and referral
  • Advocacy
  • Family Support
  • Community awareness and development
  • Peer support for families, children and young people
  • Education and skill development for families, children and young people

For more information contact:
Family Mental Health Support Services
CatholicCare Shepparton
68 Wyndham Street
Shepparton VIC 3630

Communities for Children

Communities for Children aims to improve the health, development and wellbeing of children aged 0-12 and their families, with positive and sustainable outcomes.

The program is funded by the Commonwealth Government for the City of Greater Shepparton.

Youth Justice

Youth Justice Group Conferencing

What is a Group Conference?

A Youth Justice Group Conference is based on restorative justice principles.  The program provides the Children's Court with an alternative pre-sentencing option that aims to devert young people from further or more serious re-offending.

Who is a Conference for?

Young people between the ages of 10-18 years who have:

  • Pleaded guilty or have been found guility of offences that do not include homicide, manslaughter, sex offences or serious crimes of violence.
  • Committed offences serious enough to warrant a probation or youth supervision order to be considered by the court.
  • Been referred to the group conferencing program within 12 months of the offence, or under exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the Court.
  • Consented to participate
  • Been assessed as suitable by a Department of Human Services Youth Justice Officer.

Who participates in the Conference?

Anyone who has been affected by the offence or who can assist to improve the situation maybe invited to attend.

Why have a Conference?

  • To raise the young person's understanding of the impact of their offending on the victim
  • To utilise the resources of the immediate and extended family and/or significant others to
    support the young person
  • To reduce the frequency and seriousness of the re-offending of young people referred to
    the program

How long does the Conference process take?

  • Conference usually runs within 6-8 weeks from date of court referral
  • Convenor meets with everyone involved prior to the Conference to help them prepare
  • Conferences normally take about 2 hours

What happens before, during and after conference?

Before the conference

A Conferencing Convener meets with all potential participants to explain the process and make
sure everyone is fully prepared and knows what to expect.

At the conference

A Group Conference provides a safe, structured environment for all people affected by the
offence to come together to:

  • Talk about what happened
  • Discuss how they were affected
  • Decide how to make things better

After the conference

The Convenor provides the Magistrate with a court report on the conference for consideration
prior to sentencing.  The young person, their legal representative and the Convenor return to Court. If the Court accepts the outcome plan, a key support person monitors the plan and supports the young person to achieve the goals.

To find out more about CatholicCare Sandhurst Group Conferencing contact:

Clint Wardle
Group Conference Convener CatholicCare Sandhurst
Phone: 03 5438 1300


School Chaplaincy Program

School Chaplaincy at CatholicCare Sandhurst

According to Mission Australia’s 2012 Youth Survey, the top 3 issues of personal concern identified by young people are coping with stress, school and study problems and body image. As well as these, more than 1 in 5 young people indicated that family relationships are of concern, with “a number of young people [indicating] that they were struggling to cope with family conflict... As one respondent said, ‘I just need a bit of help or someone I can turn to when I get really overwhelmed with family issues.’ ” (Mission Australia Youth Survey 2012, page 6) [1]

CatholicCare Sandhurst provides chaplaincy services to schools under the National School Chaplaincy Service guidelines. All our chaplains meet the educational requirements of this program and are highly skilled at providing emotional and wellbeing services to students, staff and families as well as the broader school community. In addition chaplains working for CatholicCare Sandhurst work side by side with wellbeing and allied health staff employed in schools and have full access to all other services provided by CatholicCare Sandhurst. This includes parenting programs, relationship counselling, children’s counselling and various other services which are active in the area of post separation parenting.

For more information on this program contact CatholicCare Sandhurst on 03 5438 1300.