Imagine if all our children had a fair go…

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Imagine if all our children had a fair go…

This year marks 135 years since City Missioner Duncan MacPherson established our services. His goal was to help women and children struggling with poverty, hardship, addiction etc, and provide the support they needed to get a fair go at life. Over the years, Family Works’ role has expanded to help children and their families and carers get that ‘fair go’ – encouraging resilience and enabling people to thrive through parenting programmes, counselling, and support in schools.

As valued partners of our work you are part of this too!

Responding to the changing needs in our communities, one of the recent initiatives by Family Works has been the introduction of a Social Worker – Early Childhood Education (ECE) role. The role is currently delivered in two of the community areas we work in, with a third one at the development stage.

Help families like Jane’s

ECE social workers support vulnerable young children and their families who are facing great challenges in their lives. Many are struggling with poverty, housing problems and deprivation that all affect their ability to give their children a fair start. Early intervention can help minimise harm to children, extending constructive supports to parents, caregivers and families.

Often shame and embarrassment prevents people asking for help. Placing our ECE social workers in early education centres reduces these barriers and enables them to connect with families and their child or children.

Working alongside early education, our social workers learn more about the specific difficulties a family is facing at the time. For some all it takes is a little navigation to connect them to the right services. Other families might require a higher level of intensive intervention support.

Your generosity has helped Jane* see change was possible for her two young girls and herself.

When ECE Social Worker Chloe* first met Jane*, she and her two daughters Karen* and Jackie* had just become homeless and were living in emergency accommodation.

Family works northern, little girlThe kindergarten the girls attended had referred Jane to Chloe. Jane’s mental health issues were severely affecting her two daughters and both girls were disengaged at kindergarten. Karen and Jackie wouldn’t join in with activities often preferring to run around and be disruptive.

With all the pressure and stress and unable to understand all the services she could access, Jane was finding it hard to be the mum she wanted to be. Chloe stepped in, liaising between Jane, the kindergarten and support services. Chloe was able to engage the two girls at the kindergarten, helping them to stay focussed and take part in activities.

“Nothing was a problem and it made me feel okay to ask for help. It was wonderful to have someone who cares and is in your corner to get things right.”

Chloe advocated for the family to secure a rental property and helped Jane get the mental health service support she needed to start managing her life again. Chloe has also been able to help the kindergarten prepare Karen and Jackie to transition to school.

“Parenting is so hard and I am very grateful for all the help I have received. Thank you.”

As we celebrate the many lives that have been supported over the past years, we hold out hope for the many others in our communities who are struggling with life’s challenges.

Will you help more children have a fair go?

*All names have been changed and stock images used to protect our clients identity.

Your Christmas donation means we can work alongside more children and families, providing essential social work and counselling to overcome their challenges. This vital support will help them understand that no matter what their past has been, there are people who can help create a brighter more hopeful future.

Please consider making a donation today to help bring these crucial services to the children and families most in need. Your thoughtfulness and generosity to others is a great inspiration to us. Thank you for partnering with us to help make a difference in so many lives.

With blessings for Christmas and the coming year.