The Children's Supported Transport Service helps those children who have no possible way of having contact with their imprisoned parent unless we assist them to visit.
SHINE for Kids realises that visits are important for both children and their parent who is in prison. Visits help to continue positive parent-child relationships. Our workers are skilled at negotiating the prison system and the visits to ensure our clients have an enjoyable and positive encounter with their parent.
What does the Children's Supported Transport Service involve?
The service involves transporting children to:
Who is eligible to use the service?
A child or young person is eligible to use this Service if:
- they are under 18 years of age;
- they have one or both parent(s) or primary carer(s) who are affected by the criminal justice system;
- the imprisoned or ex-prisoner parent(s) or carer(s) can demonstrate a significant relationship with the child or young person;
- the child or young person lives in New South Wales or the Australian Capital Territory;
- they have no other practical/ appropriate means of travelling to visit their parent or attending the relevant group or function; and
- if the visit is in the best interests of the child or young person.
Some children have special priority for the service. Children who will receive priority for the service are:
- newborn babies
- children recently separated from their primary carer
- children experiencing severe trauma as a result of their primary carer's incarceration
Who assesses a child's eligibility to use the Service?
The intake caseworker is responsible for assessing a child or young person's suitability to benefit from this Service.
The Senior Caseworker or the Coordinator for that Correctional Centre will liaise with the Transport Facilitator and through the Transport Facilitator with Transport Workers and/or volunteers who transport children and young people. Decisions in relation to a child's usage of the transport service may also be made by the TRAM.
Who is responsible for carrying out the Transport Service?
The Transport Service is carried out by Transport Workers and by volunteers.
All Transport Workers and volunteers:
- must have a satisfactory driving record as assessed at any time by SHINE for Kids
- will have been assessed as suitable to work with children and young people on the basis of the Working With Children Check
- will have successfully undergone a criminal record check by the Department of Corrective Services
- are trained in working with children and young people.