A Family’s Way Forward
Kara Walker has six young children she looks after. Kara received support from our school-based social worker for her eldest three children at Bishopdale School. Her sons were having trouble concentrating in class and weren’t able to voice how they felt about things that happened. “When it’s personal, it’s good to be able to go to a private area outside of the class and open up about those things,” Kara says.
When the family met Angela, their social worker, it became clear that the relationship would change them as a family. “She never judged us, instead she just asked: ‘how can we help?’ and ‘what do you enjoy?’,” Kara recalls. As you will read, Angela was able to connect Kara and her children to a variety of resources in the community from sports clubs to food parcels. She also helped them talk about their feelings with each other and grow as a family. For Kara and her sons, having a social worker in the school gave them hope for a better future. “She introduced us to another life, and connected us to things that we’re passionate about: it gave us hope,” she says.
The importance of our school-based programmes for families like Kara’s cannot be overstated. “This service needs to be in schools. That’s where problems with children are found,” says Kara. “It makes a difference because the voices of children can be heard if we have someone who takes the time to talk to them one-on-one”. Our social workers and counsellors work with families from all walks of life. Many families have no one else to turn to for help.
Renew Hope in Your Community
Our services in schools rely on being able to work intensively with families over longer periods of time. It’s a strategy that works for getting to know the families and supporting them in the best way possible. However, with more intensive programmes, there is a high cost. Currently our school and community programmes are at a funding deficit of $286 per child. With additional funding, we can have a presence in more schools and reach more children and parents who need support.