The Family Visits Program supports strong family bonds through virtual video visits. It provides a way for women in prison to play a meaningful role in their children's lives, and implement the skills and strategies developing in prison parenting programs.

The Family Visits Program is a voluntary program running at Tarrengower Prison and the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre. A video visit removes some of the environmental barrier of an in-person prison visit, and allows a child the opportunity to connect with their mum from the comfort of their own home. This program values any significant connections and an individual’s cultural and personal definition of family, and is available to connections that aren't biological relatives.


How it works

Strong family connections and positive new identities are important factors that can reduce a person's risk of re-offending, and ease the transition from prison to community. But incarceration can often fray family relationships, and an incarcerated mother can see herself as a prisoner, not a parent. Through regular, meaningful visits, the Family Visits Program offers a unique way for children to connect with their mothers, and for mothers to continue to play an important, hands-on role in their child's life.


More information

Why Family Visits Program

Keeping families connected when a parent goes to prison improves outcomes for mothers and their families and makes whole communities safer and stronger.

Eligibility

People in Tarrengower Prison or Dame Phyllis Frost Centre who have more than one month but less than six months before their earliest release date, or people on remand with a court date within the next one to six months, are eligible for the Family Visits Program.

VACRO and Corrections Victoria value all close connections and an individual’s cultural and personal definition of family. The Family Visits Program will incorporate all significant connections in an individual’s life and can include dependents, one’s own parents, carers of children, siblings, partners, and close friends.

    Referrals

    Referrals to the Family Visits Program are made by prison Family Engagement Workers to the VACRO Family Visits Program Support Worker based at that prison.

    Support

    Family Visits Program is funded by the Department of Justice and Community Safety — Corrections Victoria.