This story is about Julie. With programs such as Parents as Teachers – Nyngan, and a supportive case worker, Julie was given the opportunity to build her life, create strong networks and strengthen her relationship with her daughter – because family matters.
Julie, a 35-year-old mum with a 9-month-old baby girl named Chrystal, suffers from debilitating depression. Julie has been suffering domestic violence from her recent partner for the last 18 months. Julie finally broke free of her partner, however Julie and her baby Chrystal found themselves homeless. During her abusive relationship she was isolated from her family, meaning she no longer had that vital support network.
Making a difference
Julie was referred onto Barnardos as a result of the domestic violence she was experiencing. Whilst supporting Julie with counselling and to get back on track with housing, the case worker very quickly identified the additional need for a program like Parents as Teachers (PAT) in Julie’s life and introduced her to the PAT group in Warren. Ever since, Julie has been attending PAT regularly for the past four months. She describes her weekly meetings as the highlight of her week and finds it hugely helpful to connect with others that she can relate to and is even finding herself making friends who she has lunch with after their meetings.
A stronger future
Four months on and looking back, Julie said she didn’t feel she was putting Chrystal’s needs first because of the abuse she was experiencing at home. Julie feels that from attending the PAT program, she has developed a new found confidence as a mother and new parenting skills, which she puts in place every day. Some of the key highlights of Julie’s changes in her parenting has been developing and understanding the need for patience, the importance of showing Chrystal affection and making decisions based on what is for the best for Chrystal and finally putting her needs first.
Find out more about Barnados programs at www.barnardos.org.au