Mia became involved with the The Benevolent Society when she was a single mother to four children and pregnant with her fifth.
Mia was referred to The Benevolent Society by the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) as
a single mother to four children, and while she was pregnant with her fifth, Mia
struggling to cope with the care of her children. She had little insight into
impact her behaviour and limited understanding of their needs was having on
safety and well-being. Additionally, Mia left her children without financial support
adequate arrangements for their ongoing care whilst she was away for an
and it was at this time that FACS became involved; subsequently the four
were placed into foster care.
she was referred to The Benevolent Society Resilient Families, FACS had no immediate plans to reunite Mia
her children and were also concerned about her ability to safely care for the new baby
Resilient Families caseworker noted that Mia’s interactions with FACS were
At Mia’s request, the Resilient Families caseworker began to accompany
as a support when she met with FACS. That support, as well as the parenting and
development education Mia received working with Resilient Families, helped her
greater insight into how best to provide a safe and nurturing environment for her children.
Mia’s knowledge and understanding increased, her attitude changed.
She came to realise that she had to build positive relationships with her
demonstrate her ability to care for them and protect them from harm. This
in her attitude and parenting ability was noted and commented on positively by
caseworkers. Mia also realised that her best chance of
the baby in her care, and eventually having the four older children returned
her, was to learn all she could from the Resilient Families program. One of the
she originally faced was the lack of support from either extended family or
in her community. This contributed to her feelings of isolation and to her
poor coping strategies that impacted her ability to safely care for her
the period that Resilient Families worked with Mia, FACS caseworkers noted
she had significantly improved her parenting skills. Through
Mia has learned the value of building strong social networks in her
where she now attends regular parenting group meetings with her baby.
shares the knowledge she gained working with Resilient Families with other
her community and that has
resulted in several approaches from parents seeking to
enter the Program.
FACS was able to close
their case in relation to Mia’s baby with the
infant still safely in Mia’s care. Mia has
now left Resilient Families after having met her case plan goals. She
continues to work positively with FACS in relation to her four older children
and maintains regular visits with all of them. Through her involvement with the
Program she has developed confidence in her ability to provide a safe and
nurturing environment for her baby and continues to work towards being
permanently reunited with all of her children.
‘From a professional view, seeing parents hug and play with their child with ease, hearing a parent advocate for themselves for the first time is very rewarding,’ said Sue, the senior Child and Family case worker.
‘There are some things which cannot be measured on paper but are very valuable,’ she added. ‘It is great to have the opportunity to work alongside families and observe what they are able to achieve throughout their time with Resilient Families. The program is genuinely there to support families to develop the skills to ensure their children are safe, happy and healthy’.
Sue went on to say that, ‘It is great to be part of a program which embraces and respects the diverse needs and experiences of each family, and works with them to support lasting change.
* Names and dates have been changed to protect our clients and their children.