The Cara philosophy

When we are in service of others we at CaraCare seek to bring hope where despair burdens, bring light where darkness creeps in, bring beauty where ugliness festers, bring joy where heaviness lies, bring love where pain sears.

The ordinary joys of life that every parent wishes for their child— like listening to music, playing sport and hanging out with friends — are anything but ordinary for abused children. Abusive family circumstances mean that the essence of childhood is stolen.

Without: love, connection, hope, joy, beauty and gratitude, it can seem there is no way through the mire of abuse. That is why Mary Jo McVeigh, the founder of CaraCare, had the courage to seek a new model of healing for children in the power of positive forces. As a trained trauma therapist and accredited mental health social worker, she sees child abuse as not a family issue but a societal one. Mary Jo believes in the strength of action by all for all - healing for the community by the community. 

Rather than “formal” counselling methods, CaraCare runs unique and innovative 
group-work programs that assist young people via team activities. Groups are facilitated by trained trauma experts, in partnership with other skilled professionals from the worlds of sports, arts and leisure. Music, dance, movement and other creative art forms are utilised to tap into the body’s natural healing potential and assist children in overcoming trauma while connecting with others.

Inspired from deep within Mary Jo’s Celtic heart, ‘Cara’, is the Irish word for friend. There can be no more fitting name for a programme that exists to promote resilience and recovery through the power of community and creativity for children who have been abused, traumatised and severely disadvantaged – it reminds us that during difficult times, friends carry us through.

We truly believe that abused children are greater than the sum of the abuse they have been subjected to. They are full of potential and creative spark waiting to be ignited by those who care. The driving force of CaraCare is to make Australia a safe place for all children to grow and develop.