When staff at The Infants' Home first met Julie, they immediately recognised she was extremely run down and fatigued.
Julie had been caring full time for her infant son, Harry. Her daughter, Lila, was exhibiting challenging behaviour – leaving Julie exasperated. With her husband out of work, she was also under immense financial strain.
"I didn't even realise I needed help, until The Infants' Home stepped in to help me," Julie says.
The Infants' Home supported Julie and her family in a number of ways. With Lila enrolled in long day care, The Infants' Home provided a childcare scholarship for Harry, giving Julie a much needed financial break.
"With my children in care, I had time to work on myself," Julie says. "I gradually started to think I could work again, and soon I had a job."
The Infants' Home also provided free parenting training to Julie, to help her learn more effective ways of dealing with Lila, who was diagnosed with Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD).
ODD is an ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior toward authority figures which goes beyond the bounds of normal childhood behaviour. Children with ODD appear very stubborn and angry.
"After doing the program, I started feeling so much better about myself," Julie says. "It helped me become a better mother. Even Lila said 'Mummy, you're not angry anymore.'"
Julie beams when she speaks about her experience with The Infants' Home.
"It's just amazing the amount of support they give you, no matter what," she says. "They are such an important resource. Not in my wildest dreams did I know there was support like this out there.
"The Infants' Home literally helped me get my life back. They saved my life."
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