Steph Stephens has now commenced work as our new St John’s Care Community Worker. The aim of the position is to help clients with a variety of complex issues that require extra attention in order for them to be supported in a more holistic manner.
It provides a link between the important work that our volunteers do on the ground and the circumstances that bring them to SJC in the first place. The position is jointly funded by SJC and Anglicare, through its Survive and Thrive program.
Steph has worked in community services for the past seven years and prior to that she had a varied career as part of the justice system in the Scottish Police Force and in Youth and Restorative Justice.
She moved to Australia with her family in 2006 and took on a role as a Defence Transition Mentor for Defence families in schools to help transition students into new friendship groups and the curriculum.
“My main passion is in mental health,” she said, “and I have used my knowledge and experience in various community sector roles. My last position involved support and advocacy for carers of people with a mental illness, which also included educating those carers in understanding that illness.”
“Prior to that position I worked for Anglicare in the Young Carers role with CYCLOPS. This incorporated case management for young people who cared for a family member with a physical or mental disability or someone struggling with alcohol or drug addictions.”
“Part of my role allowed me to facilitate groups for young people with self-esteem issues or living with anxiety and depression and not knowing how to manage their illness. Many young and adult carers struggle with their own depression from the stress of their role.”
Within her role as Community Worker she hopes to continue with group work, eventually providing support groups for people experiencing domestic violence, mental illness and other problems.
She will also undertake short case management programs to help break the cycle of trauma and disadvantage. She is a trained Parents Under Pressure Therapist and hopes to continue working with parents of very young children who are struggling to manage.
Overall, she sees her role as that of a support person for people who are not coping with life, providing advocacy and referring them on to other organisations where needed. She imagines there will be challenges along the way because of the many frustrations experienced by the people attending the Centre.
Steph is very much looking forward to meeting all the amazing volunteers at SJC as well as all those who support our work in the community.
SJC wish list for this week: Honey, plain flour 1 kg and baby wipes.