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Child protection

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The police came and saw me this week. They say because Billie was present in the family domestic violence incident last week they had to tell the Department of Communities.

 

The child protection worker that came to speak with me was so rude. I really needed someone to be kind to me and offer me some real help but she talked down to me, threatened me with taking Billie away and generally made me feel worse.

childcare worker

Understand the stats

24%

24% of families experienced foster or out of home care as an adolescent, and

18%

experienced having child(ren) removed from their care

She did refer me to a charity though and that is where I met Sam, an amazing support worker. Sam made me feel empowered to make decisions. She has been great and has already helped me access a fantastic refuge.

 

I am starting to feel more positive about my situation.

receptionist

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

childcare worker

Understand the stats

24%

24% of families experienced foster or out of home care as an adolescent, and

18%

experienced having child(ren) removed from their care

receptionist

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

Material needs

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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

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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

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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

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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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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.