Meera’s story

“You guys are doing great here. I think a lot about you working as a team. If I go back and think of how we were before we met you guys…I’m more hopeful for the future now.”

Teamwork backs young parents to thrive

A Step by Step Family Practitioner, Housing Support Worker and an Employment and Education Mentor worked together as a team to support Meera and her children

“I didn’t have anything; I had lost hope. It was very hard.“

When 24-year old Meera* arrived in Queensland with her 2-year old and 4-year old children after fleeing domestic violence, she didn’t know anyone and had nowhere to stay.

She approached several housing services while she stayed in short-term emergency accommodation, including sleeping at a train station with her children when there was nothing else available.

Eventually, the Department of Housing referred Meera to YFS’ Step by Step team who worked together to support Meera and her children to sort out her housing situation and provide a range of wrap-around services to help them get back on their feet.

The YFS Housing Specialists worked with the Department of Housing to find private rental accommodation and sorted out furniture through Friends with Dignity. They also taught Meera skills such as how to sustain her tenancy and maintain a good rental record and how to search for housing in a tight rental market, vital skills which helped her to find a new private rental when she had to move again.

YFS Family Resource Practitioner Katie supported Meera to find day care and apply for fee subsidies. She also helped her to apply for support to assist her children with their early childhood development and apply for NDIS funding, linked her with a YFS Financial Counsellor for help with budgeting, and referred her to Women’s Legal Service for advice about some safety concerns.

Finding work was crucial so Katie connected Meera with the YFS Spark Employment Mentoring program who helped Meera update her resume and Seek profile and supported her to get First Aid and CPR certificates and a Blue Card. As a result, Meera was successful in getting casual work in Disability Support. She is now working with Jo, a YFS Employment and Education Mentor, to find a more permanent work placement.

Katie says Meera’s confidence has increased greatly. “Meera has come so far, she was able to find her new house independently using the skills she learned, and she has learnt to advocate for herself. For example, if there are issues with day care, we might talk it through on the phone, but Meera is more comfortable now to have those conversations herself. I feel that Meera is in a much better place now and is able to process things rather than being in survival mode the whole time.”

“I really appreciate you guys,” Meera says. “You guys are doing great here. I think a lot about you working as a team.”

“If I go back and think of how we were before we met you guys…I’m more hopeful for the future now. I haven’t achieved everything that I want to yet, but if I hadn’t been referred to Step by Step I don’t think that I would be able to have achieved what I have.”

*Name changed for privacy