Family Matters

Home life isn’t always a walk in the park.  Many people experience conflict and fighting at home, some conflict is normal, but sometimes things get out of control and can be harmful to everyone in the home. If it feels like things are out of control at home and it’s affecting other areas of your life, you may want to seek some confidential support to help you find a way to deal with it.

Family separation

Unfortunately not all parents are able to maintain loving relationships and some parents make the decision to separate or divorce. Parents splitting up is hardly ever a pleasant experience to have to go through, and sometimes it’s difficult for them to put their children’s needs first. This can be a difficult time for children and adolescents, particularly when you’re also dealing with school, puberty and other significant changes that happen at this time in your life. It may be that you just need someone to talk to who understands, or you may need someone to talk to your parents for you, or with you, to help them understand how it is for you. Our youth workers can offer you advice, support and even refer you or your family for counselling if necessary.


There are many different types of abuse and generally abuse means that someone is exerting control over you. Sometimes it is obvious, yet sometimes abuse can be more manipulative and you may not be aware that it’s happening.

Physical abuse is generally when someone is harming you through physical contact such as hitting, kicking, slapping or using force or some kind of weapon to harm you – or is threatening to harm you.

Sexual abuse is when someone touches you inappropriately without your permission, or tries to make you touch them or do things to them that you don’t want to do. This can be anything from touching, kissing or stroking to full sexual penetration.

Psychological or emotional abuse is generally harder to identify than other forms of abuse because it can be less obvious, it generally involves people saying negative things about you or acting in a way that doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. It is an attempt to hurt your feelings and gives the other person more power and influence over you.

Financial abuse can generally happen when you are financially independent and earning your own money or have your own Centrelink income.  It happens when someone attempts to have inappropriate control over your finances, this can include withholding your money, having unauthorised access to your financial affairs and telling you what you can and can’t spend your money on.  If you’re still financially dependent on your parents or carer, they have a right to have input into where your money goes.

If you believe that you are experiencing any kind of abuse this is not OK. You can talk to one of our youth workers confidentially to find out what you can do or how we can help you, or we can refer you to someone else for confidential support.

*Disclosure: Staff at BSYS are mandatory reporters and guided by the Children & Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.  If we believe a child or young person is at risk of significant harm, we are obliged to report our concerns to Family & Community Services.


Neglect is generally when your parents or primary carer are unable or unwilling to meet your basic needs, including providing you with adequate food, housing, clothing, and safety.  If your needs aren’t met adequately enough, this affects your general wellbeing. Some parents and carers may be unaware of the neglect they are causing, whilst others may do it intentionally.

If you believe that you are experiencing any form of neglect, we would encourage you to talk to one of our youth workers.  We can then discuss with you the options of support available.

Drug and Alcohol Use

Whilst it’s not unusual for parents and older siblings to have a few drinks at home, excessive use can be unhealthy. It is not illegal for adults to drink alcohol, however too much alcohol can lead to aggression, violence and neglecting one’s own needs as well as those they are supposed to be caring for.

Use of any illicit drugs (such as cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, speed, heroin etc) is illegal. Drugs can have a significant effect on the user’s capacity to function normally, and can have a long-term effect on their mental and physical health.

If there is drug use or excessive alcohol use within your family it may be having a negative impact on the dynamics at home. Drug and alcohol misuse can trigger family violence, including physical, mental, emotional, sexual and financial abuse, or neglect. If this is happening in your home and is having a negative impact on you, your siblings or other family members, you can talk to our youth workers confidentially about ways to keep yourself safe.