Crisis

Debt

Listen to the audio

I really don’t want to go back to my ex-partner but he controls all of our money, so I am going to need help to get us by.

 

I started searching online for short term loans and find a pawnbroker. Billie and I visit the shop. All I have of value is my mums old ring. He offers me $350 for it and three months to pay it back with interest.


The interest is really high but I think I should be able to pay it off if I can pick up some more shifts over the next few weeks. I have no choice!

Calculator

Understand the stats

86%

of families report they had debt that was not a mortgage. Most commonly, debt was overdue utility bills and personal loans/pay day loans.

Ring
Families said that as a result of debt they experience an inability to sleep and stress-related illness with 43% of families experiencing relationship break down due to debt

When I get home I call my boss and ask for some more shifts. He says he can offer me last minutes shifts if other staff pull out. I try to explain that will be hard as I have a  young daughter. He just tells me that not his problem.

 

I am worried now that I am not going to be able to pay off this debt and will loose my mums ring.

Boss

Understand the stats

55%

Over half of families have children in their care or in their household

Calculator

Understand the stats

86%

of families report they had debt that was not a mortgage. Most commonly, debt was overdue utility bills and personal loans/pay day loans.

Ring
Families said that as a result of debt they experience an inability to sleep and stress-related illness with 43% of families experiencing relationship break down due to debt
Boss

Understand the stats

55%

Over half of families have children in their care or in their household

Home

Listen to the audio

Jo has been staying at her aunt’s house with Billie now for the last week. She knows she can’t stay there forever and needs to find something else.

 

Billie misses her home and doesn’t understand why she can’t go back and get her teddies. Jo is scared of her ex-partner though and lives in fear he will visit them.

 

Jo wants to be able to put a safe and secure roof over Billie’s head but doesn’t know how. She hasn’t been able to pick up any shifts at her casual job as she has needed to care for Billie who doesn’t start school until next year.

Home

Rental market

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I have been saving as much money as I can for a deposit on a rental. To help us get ahead, I have been cutting back on groceries

 

Most meals at the moment are pasta or rice as this is cheap and fills you up. 

 

I ration our portion sizes to make sure the food lasts the week. Sometimes I even skip meals but never Billie. I always do my best to make sure she gets what she needs.

 

Meal

Understand the stats

27%

of families with children said that they had cut the size of their children’s meals in the past 12 months because there wasn’t enough money for food

Shopping bag

80% of adults reported low food security compared to 58% for children, meaning that often adults may be going without so children dont always have to.

The Coronavirus supplement came through earlier this week. Although I desperately need to pay off my growing debt, that’s $750 I can put towards a bond, which is huge. 

 

I now have enough to start searching for rentals. I downloaded a real-estate app and find a unit in our budget. Speaking with the real-estate agent though she tells me that their aren’t enough houses around, especially in my budget.

 

I am starting to feel desperate as we are running out of options.

Calculator

What are the ways in which the Coronavirus Supplement has affected family member’s lives?

Issue

%

Bills

43

Savings

10

Food

28

Others essentials

20

Improved quality of life

52

No/minimal impact

5

*Note: Percentages do not add up to 100% as family members responses may have been coded to multiple categories

Meal

Understand the stats

27%

of families with children said that they had cut the size of their children’s meals in the past 12 months because there wasn’t enough money for food

Shopping bag

80% of adults reported low food security compared to 58% for children, meaning that often adults may be going without so children dont always have to.

Calculator

What are the ways in which the Coronavirus Supplement has affected family member’s lives?

Issue

%

Bills

43

Savings

10

Food

28

Others essentials

20

Improved quality of life

52

No/minimal impact

5

*Note: Percentages do not add up to 100% as family members responses may have been coded to multiple categories

Material needs

Listen to the audio

The money Jo had saved, including the Coronavirus supplement payment she received, has since gone on purchasing essentials for her and Billie as well as paying her growing debt.

 

Her family have given her a lot of help already but aren’t in a space to keep helping them.

Relationships there are getting a bit strained so she feels she will have to find another way.

Material Needs

Online support

Listen to the audio

My aunty doesn’t have a spare bed so Billie and me have been sleeping on her old couch for the past couple of weeks. I need to find us a proper bed soon though as I am waking up so tired which makes it hard to do the other things I need to do, like work.

 

I searched online and found a website called WAConnect. You can look up charities in your area who offer help with certain things. I rang a local charity and explained (again!) my situation to a lady called Praba. Praba didn’t interrupt me once and at the end of our chat she told me she could help us and to come and see her.

Laptop

Purse

Families living in entrenched disadvantage experienced significant levels of material deprivation. 85% do not have access to $500 in an emergency, compared to just 12% of the general pop

The next day Billie and I visited Praba who welcomed us so warmly. She was especially kind to Billie and made her smile for the first time in days! She sat us down with a cup of tea and told me to choose any bed and they would pay for it. They even organize delivery. All I needed to do was drop off the invoice.

 

Praba made me feel human. Its lovely to see Billie so happy too.

charity worker

Families listed the top attributes of good support to be empathy and competency – In other words, be kind, help me and follow through.


Other attributes includes: good listening, respect, autonomy, reciprocity, mutuality, partnership

Flyer

Families have said they would prefer support that was local, community focussed, flexible and integrated

Laptop

Purse

Families living in entrenched disadvantage experienced significant levels of material deprivation. 85% do not have access to $500 in an emergency, compared to just 12% of the general pop

charity worker

Families listed the top attributes of good support to be empathy and competency – In other words, be kind, help me and follow through.


Other attributes includes: good listening, respect, autonomy, reciprocity, mutuality, partnership

Flyer

Families have said they would prefer support that was local, community focussed, flexible and integrated

Seeking Support

Listen to the audio

Over the past few weeks, Jo’s ex-partner has been leaving her abusive voicemails. He wants to see Billie but every time Jo answers the phone to speak with him, it quickly escalates into him threatening and abusing her.

 

Jo’s mental health is really starting to decline. She constantly feels low and cries often. She desperately needs help but finding the time, energy, and money to do this is a real barrier.

Seeking Support

Time-limited support

Listen to the audio

I decided to call Susan, the social worker I was assigned several months ago. I know its been a while since we last met but I still need help, especially with sorting out the situation with my ex. She knows my situation so I won’t have to keep repeating myself.

 

Susan tells me though she is changing jobs soon and so can’t really help. She did say she could arrange for someone else to help me but only for a short time as the “time-limited” support I was assigned is almost up.

 

I told her not to worry as retelling my story and building another relationship is going to be too traumatic for me at the moment. I will just have to deal with my ex by myself.

Payphone

Services aren’t always working to meet families needs. A key underlying cause of this is the way organisations need to compete for funding and contracts. Competition often limits an organisation’s ability to provide flexible and person-centered support.

 

The outcome of this is families currently are saying that eligibility criteria is too narrow or too rigid with demand for support often outstripping supply or service length being too limited.

End of story

Thank you for exploring
Jo’s journey

Scroll down if you want to make an impact

Calls to Action

Families repeatedly asked us before, during and after their engagement; ‘how will my information be used to make a difference? It is through this lens and in the context of your own influence and responsibility that these calls to action should be viewed.

Support people to identify and achieve their life goals – their way

Families are intimately familiar with their own circumstances and needs and hold valuable perspectives about what approaches would work for themselves and their communities.

Elevate the role and amplify the voice of people experiencing disadvantage

Families consistently reported that they often don’t feel seen or heard in policy or practice settings and would like to add their voices and lived experience in designing, implementing and evaluating policies, programs and social change that impacts them.

Ensure every Australian has access to adequate income to meet their basic needs

The 100 Families WA evidence demonstrates the positive benefits that the Coronavirus Supplement had on family members, which ultimately supported them to live with a greater dignity.

Build and strengthen local community networks and supports

Families draw on their relationships with family, friends, neighbours and community networks when available, for both practical assistance and emotional support to meet a variety of needs.

Challenge stigma and create a safe, supportive environment for people

Family members continue to experience stigma and discrimination at individual, community, service and societal levels. Safe, supportive environments can help reduce people’s experiences of stigma and discrimination.

Make it easy as possible for people to access support when they need it

Family members reported a range of personal, organisational and systemic barriers to accessing formal and informal supports. Reducing these barriers can reduce the financial, emotional and time costs for families who are currently navigating multiple formal supports.

Prioritise and develop trusted and enduring relationships

Families’ positive experiences of seeking support depends on being genuinely listened to and supported with care and understanding of their individual circumstances.

Invest in prevention and early supports

Policies, services and community-based programs focused on prevention and early support, in addition to crisis services, can help support people to solve issues before problems escalate.

Recognise the value of caring roles and other contributions to society

Recognising, valuing and supporting the multiple ways that family members contribute to their families and society can create social and economic benefits and reduce inequality

Reflection

Informed by what you have learned, please answer the below question. Your comments are made anonymously and will not be attributed back to you.

Learning

Interested in continueing your 100 Families journey? Stay connected to 100 Families WA by adding your details below (only quarterly contact will be made via newsletters and project opportunities).

Click on the links below to download key resources to help you on your learning journey.

Download the Full report
Download the Summary Report
Download the Lived Experience Framework

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Brianna, Aboriginal Family

Background

Jo is a 26 year old single mom of a daughter and preganant of another child. She is struggling with her abusive partner, lack of housing and diffficults to find a job.
Vision/goals

What I want more than anything is to have a stable place to call home, where we feel safe a better job that has decent pay and most of all, I want my children to feel loved and be happy.

Background

Jo is a 26 year old single mom of a daughter and preganant of another child. She is struggling with her abusive partner, lack of housing and diffficults to find a job.

Vision/goals

What I want more than anything is to have a stable place to call home, where we feel safe a better job that has decent pay and most of all, I want my children to feel loved and be happy.

Background

Jo is a 26 year old single mom of a daughter and preganant of another child. She is struggling with her abusive partner, lack of housing and diffficults to find a job.

Vision/goals

What I want more than anything is to have a stable place to call home, where we feel safe a better job that has decent pay and most of all, I want my children to feel loved and be happy.