Support given so children could go to school
I received a call from a Canberra primary school psychologist a week ago. He told me about a family he is working with and asking what possible assistance we could provide.
I invited him to come to St John’s Care so we could show him what we do. In the meantime, I gave him a quick rundown of the ways we could potentially support this family.
CM is a single mother of four primary school age children (twins and two others) who lost her income 6 months ago (she was working as a cleaner in a hospitality industry). She thought that her savings would be enough to see them through tough times until she gets another job. Unfortunately, she still can’t get a job as its hard to get the hours she needs as she is single parent.
CM told me that all her expenses are mounting up, and that she doesn’t have money to pay their car registration. She recently stopped her children from going to school due to lack of funds to buy school uniforms and book packs.
She hit rock bottom when, two weeks ago, they didn’t have enough food at home to make sandwiches. She did not mind if she went without food, but not her children.
We sat together and I listened as she spoke. Together we were able to formulate a plan.
We gave her four school bags full of supplies and assisted her with the purchase of school uniforms. She explained that she wanted her children to look like every other child at their school, so they did not look different. We then gave her enough food and school snacks for two weeks.
We also supported her with her phone and electricity bill to lessen the burden. She was connected with Centrelink and an employment agency (who hires specialist cleaners) to assist her journey.
Although CM is still looking for work, she said she feels that life moving forward has become more optimistic and is particularly relieved that her children have school lunches every day.
When CM left the Centre, she was overcome with joy!
Nailia, SJC Case Manager
Items required: school lunch snacks, juice poppers, small boxes of sultanas, savory biscuits and tinned meats.