Single mum Kelly says the YFS ParentsNext program helped open her eyes to her own potential.
Kelly has been involved with ParentsNext since mid 2017 and in that timeframe, she’s says the service has opened her up to opportunities that she had not thought about before.
“In my first few months with ParentsNext, I didn’t know why I was connected to the service,” Kelly said. “I was in a such a negative space that I didn’t like attending. I thought that I didn’t need help to improve my life.
“It wasn’t until I had conversations with my case manager about studying that I started enjoying ParentsNext.
“She was a fresh face. She listened to my problems. She couldn’t solve them all but she was there, offering support and backing me.”
Before Kelly connected with YFS’ ParentsNext team, she was a busy mum raising two young children.
Kelly had been away from the workforce for some time, and didn’t realise that the skills she learnt from her former employer, the Queensland Government, were a little out of date.
“Kelly worked tirelessly searching for jobs,” YFS ParentsNext manager Rachel Smith said. “After being overlooked by potential employers, she recognised the need to update her job skills.
“Initially, she undertook voluntary work for a couple of not-for-profit organisations in a bid to update her administrative skills, but we soon realised that wasn’t enough.”
That’s when Kelly enrolled in a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community).
“I had never completed a course in my life, so it was a big step for me to take,” Kelly said.
“Rachel helped me realise that I had the potential within me to change my career. She helped me unlock my potential.
“When I finished the certificate III, I applied for jobs but I didn’t get to the next step.
“I knew that was ok because I wanted to study further and build on the skills that I learned in the certificate, but more along the mental health side.”
Kelly is now studying the Certificate IV in Mental Health.
“Because of ParentsNext, I became open to the concept of looking after my wellbeing,” she said. “The depression I was experiencing early on encouraged me to seek a mental health care plan from my GP.
“That is one of my life events that encouraged me to continue my studies in the mental health field.
“ParentsNext has helped me greatly. I wouldn’t change a thing about it.”