Hannah Lourenco As a local photographer, I am passionate about working with families and as such deeply inspired by the efforts of Sutherland Shire Family Service's to advocate and support local families that are in crisis and affected by domestic violence. I wish to help in aid of this cause by raising awareness of SSFS in whatever way I can.

I am reaching out to local families and business owners, to come along for a fun afternoon getting some updated family photos in our gorgeous local surrounds. Each family will have the opportunity to receive 8 images from their mini session with me, in return for donating to this fundraiser.

Why is this cause worth supporting?
So far this year, 10 women and 9 children have died from domestic violence. That doesn't even touch on the people "impacted", "affected", "injured" or "living it". In the Sutherland Shire, Police refer over 200 domestic violence incidents to the local DV Court Advocacy Service each month.

How do Sutherland Shire Family Services help?
Families impacted by domestic violence face so many challenges, but accessing help shouldn't be one of them. By supporting SSFS, you are helping deliver real frontline change to the people who need it most. We provide crisis response, safety planning, court advocacy, caseworker services, support groups and education & therapeutic groups - all with the goal of helping families heal, grow and flourish.

Sutherland Shire Family Services support local families impacted by violence in a number of ways – from court advocacy & support for AVO matters, to caseworker services and safety planning. We also run Domestic Violence support groups, and specialised therapeutic groups for safe caregivers and their children. All our programs are accredited, trauma informed and evidence based programs meaning we only deliver high quality programs that support our client’s physical, emotional and psychological health.

It’s easy to believe that in the Shire we are immune from such tragedies, but disturbingly, there are over 4,000 reports to local police each year for domestic violence matters in our catchment areas, there are, on average, 10 families EVERY DAY that need help. Just last year, SSFS helped over 1,800 local women and families seeking help and support.

Of course, these services, while provided to our clients for free, cost money to provide. SSFS employs qualified social workers, psychologists, family therapists, mothercraft nurses, educators and other skilled welfare workers to deliver these programs to clients. To supplement our limited recurring Government funding, we often apply for grants from private and government sources, but also rely on the generosity of our community and fundraising activities to ensure the sustainability of our services. Hannah Lourenco