Originally from Afghanistan, Aadila* came to Australia with her son, leaving behind family violence. Living at a women’s refuge, Aadila re-partnered five years later and had twin girls. She then experienced significant family violence in this relationship and made the decision to separate from the girls’ father.
“When I came to Kids First I felt my mental health was suffering. I was overwhelmed and felt that I couldn’t manage. I had no family or friends. I felt hopeless,” said Aadila.
Child Protection had concerns about Aadila’s mental health and the risk of further family violence to her and her three young children.
Identifying the earlier trauma experienced by Aadila and her son, our Infant and Family team worked with Aadila to develop a plan designed to both meet immediate needs but also to help build her parenting and personal capacities.
The plan included:
• Supporting her with access to childcare
• Identifying triggers, and strategies to manage her mental health and linking to a local psychologist
• Liaising with her son’s school in relation to his health, wellbeing and connection to the community
• Access to financial support Resources to improve her parenting capacity and provide support with financial and material aid including a referral to a financial counsellor.
Aadila and her daughters completed Mothers in Mind, a group program for mothers and their young children who have experienced family violence. The program provides a safe and supportive environment for mothers to build parenting confidence, connect with their children through shared stories and play, while also getting to know other mothers.
We linked Aadila in with a mentor through our Mentoring Mums program. The mentor has provided her with ongoing support, particularly during family law court matters in relation to access arrangements for the twins.
As part of Aadila’s son’s recovery from the trauma he had experienced, he was engaged in play therapy and linked in with our Northern Healing and Recovery Program family violence recovery worker, who undertook some work to help his recovery.
We arranged access to financial support via Family Violence flexible packages as well as material aid. This has supported the family to stabilise and increase safety.
Our worker described the outcomes for Aadila:
”Aadila's self-confidence has grown remarkably and has provided her with the opportunity to advocate for the children and their best interests. She has a better understanding of child development enabling her to tune into their individual needs and provide more stability, structure and routine.
Aadila now understands family violence which has enabled her to act protectively and keep the children safe despite ongoing risk. Her insight into her own trauma has enabled her to connect with her eldest son and work on their relationship.
And importantly, she has been able to develop strategies to manage her own mental health and actively seeks out help as required; she is much more aware of her limitations and resources.”
*For privacy, names have been changed in this client story
Mothers in Mind
A safe and supportive program for mothers and their children to build confidence and connection after hurtful experiences.
A volunteer program that pairs Mentors with Mums, to give them additional support with their parenting goals while simultaneously using other services of Kids First.
A family violence therapeutic program that partners with victim/survivors, children and their families
Infant Family Services
As part of our whole-of-family approach, our Infant and Family Team resources and supports parents and children in their early years, aged 0 – 5.