Bendigo Maternal and Child Health services receive about $31,000 funding boost to tackle family violence

About $31,000 of $11 million will flow to Bendigo for extra Maternal and Child Health consultations. Picture: SHUTTERSTOCK
About $31,000 of $11 million will flow to Bendigo for extra Maternal and Child Health consultations. Picture: SHUTTERSTOCK

Maternal and Child Health nurses in Bendigo will be able to provide almost 250 more consultations a year to women and babies affected by family violence.

The state government last week announced $11 million for extra consultations, about $31,000 of which will flow to the City of Greater Bendigo.

Bendigo is home to 12 Maternal and Child Health services, with a combined total of 27 staff.

Community wellbeing manager, Chris Kelly, said the funding would allow the city to deliver a further 248 consultations each year.

She said Maternal and Child Health staff would undergo enhanced training so they could continue to provide the necessary support for those who need it.

“The funding is ongoing and the city will continue to work with the Department of Health and Human Services, Anglicare and the Centre for Non-Violence to support vulnerable mothers and babies,” Ms Kelly said.

“The city will accommodate the additional hours with current staff members, with additional hours to be made available to them.”

The government expects the funding boost to provide up to 12,000 hours of additional service statewide.

Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, said one in five women report violence in the year after giving birth. 

"That translates into a staggering 14,000 Victorian mothers a year affected by family violence in the course of a child's first year on life,” she said.

“We are giving Maternal and Child Health nurses more support so they can identify and intervene where necessary, particularly given the heightened risk after a child is born.”

The money forms part of the state’s $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan, which recognises the vital role Maternal and Child Health services play in supporting families in early childhood.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732. In an emergency, call 000.