Houses to Homes supporting young mums

Diocesan Works Fund May Appeal – Faith at Work
All babies and children have the right to lead a healthy and fulfilling life.

Posted on 9 May 2016

CatholicCare Social Services in the Diocese of Parramatta has a team of highly skilled and dedicated people who work in our Houses to Homes program. This service for pregnant girls or parenting young women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness offers:

  • Transitional semi-independent housing;
  • Referral pathways towards long-term stable housing solutions;
  • Case management support;
  • Access to brokerage;
  • Home visits to young mothers and their babies;
  • Empowerment for independent living;
  • Access to parenting and living skills, employment and education;
  • Advocacy, support and referral; and
  • Assistance in accessing community resources.

The demand for this service is constant. Vulnerable members of our community are afforded the opportunity that many of us take for granted. The service has four full-time staff, with Louise Masters heading the team.

“All babies and children have the right to lead a healthy and fulfilling life with safe and secure housing and early intervention,” Louise said. “We are committed to providing the best service possible so this can be achieved.”

A recent example of a case where the team at Houses to Homes (H2H) has intervened and provided much-needed support is below. For privacy reasons, names have been changed. For more information about this service, please contact CatholicCare Parramatta tel (02) 8822 2222.

Kate’s story

Kate was referred to H2H by a Family & Community Services caseworker. She had been residing with her mother and extended family, however, the house was overcrowded and there were domestic violence issues.

Kate and her two children were rehoused by H2H staff into a private rental property near her mother’s home. This gave her support that was close by, as well as ongoing support from H2H. Kate was given assistance to move in with some furniture, OzHarvest food packages and Woolworths Essentials cards.

Staff noted that Kate’s daughter appeared to have some developmental delays and Kate explained that she was trying to have her daughter assessed. Staff assisted her to complete the necessary forms.

Her daughter was referred to and accepted into the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY). She also attended two days a week at the local daycare centre.

Since Kate’s daughter commenced an early intervention program, her social skills have improved and she is sharing and playing.

This has led to a change in Kate’s mood and has given her the opportunity to spend more time with her younger son. It also gave her the chance to commence selling makeup as she has an avid interest in makeup artistry and beauty.

Understanding that Kate had this great interest, our H2H caseworker approached her with an opportunity to complete a certificate course through TAFE. Her son is now in daycare two days a week so Kate can attend TAFE.

Kate was thrilled to enrol, stating that upon completion, she would be the first member of her family to complete any type of course and receive a certificate.

She was chosen to represent her class to apply makeup on models at the Royal Easter Show. She took along her mother and it was a very proud moment for them both.

Her children are improving in all aspects of development. Kate has increased her social circle and now has adults with whom she can chat and become friends. Her entire disposition has changed and improved.

Kate has maintained her tenancy for approaching 12 months. She has a Start Safely Private Rental Subsidy for short-term financial help so she does not have to return to her previous violent situation.

Kate was asked recently if she would like to continue with her study and go on to complete her diploma. She accepted and is excited to continue on her adventure.

Your donations to this month’s DDF Appeal with the theme Faith at Work will help to fund CatholicCare programs like Houses to Homes. To make an online donation visit www.faithatwork.org.au

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