Hope for young mothers
The HOPE program has helped hundreds of vulnerable young mothers overcome adversity, like *Sarah through the help and support of Caseworkers like *Diana.
Here, we’ll hear from both Sarah and Diana about how the program has transformed Sarah as well as her son, *Isaac.
(*Names were changed)
Sarah, Mother and Student
I’m Sarah, I’m 22 years old and I’m from South West Sydney. I was homeless and I broke up with my partner. When I was 20 weeks pregnant, I was googling how to deal with that by finding a counsellor then came across CatholicCare’s Hope Program. I was upset and in tears on the phone to a caseworker. After talking to her she sent another caseworker to come out the next week just to check up on me. It was great. She put me through to services, she set me up on Centrelink because I had no income, and she also set me up with an early childhood nurse to come and visit me when I was really stressed and didn’t know what to do. They even helped me find 18 months of accommodation.
Being a first-time mum was really scary because I pretty much had nobody and my caseworker was probably the only person and friend I had. My son, Isaac, has recently been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. They’ve told me that it’s really mild but I just have to work with him every day by doing little activities with his motor skills and just trying to pretty much better his life.
This program has helped in other ways too. My caseworker set me up with a case plan. She came over regularly to see if Isaac was reaching his milestones and he was doing great. One of my case plan goals was to enrol in study in a course. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do but I found out what I wanted to do just a couple of weeks ago. So I’ve enrolled in at TAFE.
In the next few years, I’d like to have a stable job, for Isaac to be put into childcare to have a better future for ourselves because what we came from was pretty much nothing and now I feel like our lives are more on track now that we’ve had that help from the HOPE Program.
Diana, CatholicCare Caseworker
I see that Sarah has a lot more confidence. Being a parent seems quite natural to her and she seems really attune to Isaac’s needs. We typically visit on a weekly basis the family set their own goals and it could involve anything from cooking a meal to finding a property, getting into TAFE or securing employment. Now, because Isaac is doing so well, we’re able to focus on what she needs, which is study and to gain employment. It’s great that this program has some transitional properties to help young people get on their feet. There’s always an increasing demand for not only people but also caseworkers to offer support.
More about the CatholicCare’s HOPE Program