When Morgan* was first referred to MacKillop, she was really struggling. With four children under the age of five, she couldn’t set effective boundaries and maintain their routines.
The most draining struggle for her was her four-year-old Ben*. His ongoing tantrums could last for three to four hours and the difficulties she was having toilet training him and his sibling meant Morgan was unable to have visitors in her home due to smell.
Completely overwhelmed with their challenging behaviours, she was isolated, distressed and ashamed that she wasn’t coping. There was financial stress too. Morgan was unable to provide the basics for her children.
Communication was an issue. She struggled to afford a SIM card and when she could, the reception in her area was unreliable.
The lack of reliable transport made things extra difficult for Morgan. Without a car, getting to her children’s appointment and even a basic trip to the supermarket wasn't possible due to distance.
Unfortunately, she had been a victim of family violence, which her children had also been exposed to. Shortly after this, they were removed from her care and though they were returned 18 months later, she had become suspicious and untrusting of services.
This led to minimal engagement with support services, even completely disengaging at times.
However, MacKillop’s Integrated Family Services team worked hard to gain Morgan’s trust and feel safe and secure.
Her case worker Jo Niu knew how things could change when trust was established.
“Morgan would avoid services out of fear and distrust after her children’s removal. Since breaking down that barrier, she has become more confident in her parenting, implementing strategies developed together or on her own.” Jo says.
“It’s been fantastic for her self-esteem and confidence to see such positive results.”
In addition to managing her own trauma from a previous relationship with a violent partner, she was struggling to support her eldest child who was also showing trauma symptoms linked to the earlier violence in the home.
With MacKillop’s help, Morgan is thriving. Having overcome her distrust barriers, she has become a confident and more effective parent.
Her immediate needs were met with the buying of a new SIM card and annual data plan.
She also received taxi vouchers at first, so she could make those important appointments for her children.
Now though, thanks to MacKillop, her application for funding to buy a car has been approved. This newfound independence has helped Morgan and her sense of worth a lot.
Her kids are thriving too.
Two of her children are now attending school and one attends kinder regularly.
They have access to the education and tools, like iPads, that their peers do and are participating and contributing to class and discussions.
They love reading books on their iPads, which have assisted with bedtime routine and morning routine. The children are now up and ready for school and are arriving to school on time, are calmer and their behaviour has significantly improved at home and at school.
They will often sit and read together, showing just how far they have come.
Morgan is constantly seeking to improve her family circumstances and environment. Despite the challenges she has faced, she has been open and honest about her situation and always managed to access the support her children needed.
Morgan’s story speaks volumes about what changes are possible when you open yourself up to and accept help. She has worked hard to build her knowledge and confidence so she can access support services and systems needed for her and her children to live their best lives.
“Morgan is inspiring. She has shown resilience, determination and courage to overcome the adversity she was facing to create a safe and loving environment for her and the children,” states Jo with pride.
*Names have been changed and stock images used to protect the privacy of our clients.