Julia had been referred to The Infants’ Home by the supported accommodation service where she and her children were living due to domestic violence. A recent arrival to Australia from Africa, she spoke little English, was socially isolated and had no family to help or support her. She was struggling in her parenting role, especially with four year old Bella whose behaviour was quite challenging, with frequent tantrums, aggressive behaviour and social/emotional difficulties.
Julia initially received support from The Infants’ Home social worker who facilitated her family’s engagement with our service. This meant that Julia only had to tell her story once, sparing her the stress of having to recount this over again to other people.
With the support of scholarship funding Bella and Amy were able to use The Infants’ Home’s minibus on some days to be transported to and from childcare. Julia was also supported to access other resources in the community, such as playgroups, to help her and her children to connect with other families, and housing, health and financial services. She also received assistance to enrol in English lessons at TAFE.
Bella was referred to our art and play therapy program, where the predictable and consistent sessions allowed her to feel safe and in control. These sessions, combined with the other supports around herself and her family, helped Bella to become less anxious and to gain the skills and confidence to forge strong, beautiful friendships with both her peers and educators. Her relationship and communication with her mum also improved, and Bella’s capacity to feel good about herself and to experience a genuine sense of belonging increased significantly.
Today both Bella and her younger sister Amy have transitioned successfully to school and are busy learning and making new friends. Julia hopes to enter the workforce when she has completed her English studies and to continue her family’s journey toward a future of hope and strength.
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