Dialog Box


Children and Mothers in Mind

Children and Mothers in Mind (CMiM) is an early intervention program that assists mothers who have experienced hurtful events, to overcome their personal trauma and become the parent they want to be for their young child. The program is currently being piloted in Victoria.

"“My son is sleeping through the night. I have stopped screaming and fighting with him so much.”"


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Overcoming Painful Experiences to Be Better Mothers

Mothers in Mind is a trauma and attachment informed, mother and child play-based group program for mothers who have experienced abuse or trauma in their life, and have pre-school children under the age of four. It focuses on the needs of mothers who have found that their hurtful experiences, such as family violence and sexual abuse, have made parenting difficult.

The Child Development Institute (CDI), an accredited children’s mental health agency in Canada offering early intervention, family violence and early learning programs, initially developed the program in 2006. The CDI is partnering with Kids First to deliver this program in Victoria.

Benefits of the Program

The structured sessions are founded on the evidence-based theory that attachment & trauma informed intervention reduces stress and isolation and improves parenting competency and emotional closeness.

The program is centered on structured playgroup sessions, incorporating a clinical approach. Facilitators work to observe and attend to moments of connection and disconnection, make assessments, and follow up with mothers between sessions.

"This is an opportunity to rebuild a positive parent-child relationship, and in doing so, nurture and support young children who have been exposed to hurtful behaviours. 

Mothers can learn from other mothers who have had similar experiences, and together, grow their skills and build back their confidence in a safe and secure environment. 

By helping children at this early stage, we can help limit the negative impact that family violence has on their life trajectory."

Dr Angelique Jenney
Child Development Institute Toronto

Mothers in Mind enables mothers to
  • Talk about parenting issues and learn from other mothers who have had similar experiences
  • Build a positive mother-child relationship through spending quality time playing with their child
  • Discover helpful ways to cope with their anger, worry and stress in a safe and supportive environment
  • Increase their confidence in responding to their children in a sensitive and caring manner
  • Learn how to support young children who may also have been exposed to hurtful behaviours.
  • Explore and learn what helps children feel safe and secure
  • Bond with other participants to reduce mother-child isolation
  • Find practical ways to take some time out for themselves during this busy stage of life.

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Evidence base

The Children and Mothers in Mind program have its origins in two Canadian evidence-informed programs - Mothers in Mind and Connections – developed and successfully delivered by the Child Development Institute and Mothercraft/Breaking the Cycle respectively.

Melbourne University is independently evaluating this program, building on a previous evaluation of Mothers In Mind that Kids First trialled over 2017.

Please call Kids First on 03 9450 0900 or email [email protected] for details on upcoming groups and registration.