Cassie’s story

Next Step Plus helped Cassie build her confidence, reach her goals and find a new home

“I’m really happy. I love where I’m staying, and I love just being independent and doing my own thing. I have my freedom, I have my own space.”

“I’ve pretty much achieved everything that I wanted to do. I’m really, really happy with that. I feel proud of myself.”

When Cassie first referred herself to YFS she had one goal and that was to get her driver’s licence. Once she met with Aaron from the Next Step Plus team, it was clear that there were a few other things to sort out first before she could get her licence.

Aaron started by helping Cassie get her original birth certificate so she could get her learner’s permit. Then he worked with her to get help with her hazard perception test and driving lessons to build her confidence.

Then she started identifying more goals she wanted to achieve so Aaron worked with her to set her goals, work out a plan on how to achieve them and supported her to work through the plan.

Aaron helped her to access specialist medical appointments and mental health care, supported her to rectify issues with her Centrelink payments, and to access funding for her studies in aged care and disability.

Cassie says, “There was a time when I was struggling where I didn’t want help, but then I got myself up and told myself that I need to get my life back on track, and I did it and here I am. Aaron has supported me with everything. If I didn’t have him, it wouldn’t have happened.”

When Cassie was looking for a place to live, she wasn’t sure what to do. Aaron and the Next Step Plus team put their heads together and came up with an innovative solution. They suggested that Cassie and Claire, another young person in the Next Step Plus program, could be a good fit to share a place together. The pair met and hit it off, so the team worked with the Salvation Army to find them a unit they could share.

Cassie says “I’m really happy. I love where I’m staying, and I love just being independent and doing my own thing. I have my freedom, I have my own space.”

Cassie says she was lacking confidence when she first came to YFS, but after working with Aaron for a while she put her hand up to speak at the Community of Practice with Next Step Plus providers in Queensland. Cassie shared her story and her experience of Next Step Plus, and it was the highlight of the conference. “I was really nervous, but I did it,” she said.

Now Cassie is much more confident and motivated. She is excited about finishing her studies and looking for work. “I’ve never done anything like this, so It’s a big thing for me. I’ve achieved something that I didn’t think I would do.”

On reflecting on how far she’s come Cassie says, “It’s good to go over everything. I’m really shocked. I forgot most of that stuff. It’s amazing who I am today. I’m really proud.”