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Helping to connect with the future

Lucy* is a single mother of three children. When she contacted MacKillop, she was struggling with her mental health. She had become isolated and was a victim of family violence.

Living in Melbourne with her three boys, she has a complete lack of family support. This is especially difficult as her 7-year-old Adam* and 4-year-old Michael* have been diagnosed with a developmental disability.

Emotionally overwhelmed and financially unstable, Lucy contacted MacKillop’s Early Help Family Service program seeking help and the support she needed.

The first thing the Early Help Program was able to do was support Lucy to navigate the NDIS and Centrelink - systems that can be overwhelming, particularly when you’re already overwhelmed.

Connecting with these services was especially important to assist Lucy to care for her children’s health, as well as her own.

The team also supported Lucy by attending GP appointments with her and enabling her to access a mental health plan. Through this, her mental health has improved significantly.

She has also built her parenting confidence and capacity through individual sessions with a trained MacKillop expert. Lucy now participates in community group sessions, where she can meet other families in her community.

Groups like these are priceless, as they can provide social connection and mutual support, particularly for people like Lucy, who didn’t previously have a family or friend network around her.

The Early Help Family Service is a program designed to offer personalised support to families in need and aims to help families become more resilient and build safe, supportive and lasting relationships.

It works to strengthen families by connecting them with their culture and community, facilitating access to specialised services, and supporting participation in activities that promotes wellbeing.

As a community support practitioner in the Early Help Program, our primary goal is to offer early intervention support to families, aiming to prevent their entry into the system. We provide personalised support, tailoring our support to meet the unique needs of each family. Our range of services includes funding assessments, facilitating extra-curricular activities, supporting families with accessing NDIS, connecting families with community resources and services in their locality.”

– Sahra Mohamed - Community Support Practitioner