Gordon was coming to school without lunch and had withdrawn as he worried about his family.
Gordon lived in a three-bedroom house with his nana, his aunty and her partner, five cousins, younger sister, and two uncles. His mum had moved overseas with two of his other younger siblings.The kids missed school when they had no lunch, and transporting them there was difficult. Nana works long shifts and bedding and clothing for everyone was limited. When Gordon’s mother returned, two families were living under one roof.
It’s thanks to Guardian Angels like you that we are able to provide wrap-around services of a social worker and a financial mentor to help connect and strengthen children and their families like Gordon’s.
After Kristen, our Social Worker in School, visited his family, he started to pop into her office at lunchtime to say ‘hi’. He drew a picture of the things he likes: playing rugby and eating food.
Kristen began to work alongside him and his family. Housing shortages meant finding somewhere else for Gordon’s aunty and her family to live was difficult. But the Family Works team persisted until they found a house. They are providing financial mentoring to help with family budgeting. The team also sourced blankets and household items, as well as extra clothes and shoes for the children so they could come to school warm and proudly dressed.
Kristen asked the local rugby club to sign Gordon up, but he was worried about the cost of fees, boots and a uniform. The club helped cover the fees, Kristen sourced some rugby boots and Gordon’s uncle offered to take him to training and games.
His nana phoned the next day and said, ‘You would never believe – I just woke Gordon up and he was sleeping with his new boots in his bed. He doesn’t want to let them go.’