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Strengthening our impact – Bridget’s story

Our 2021 Annual Report highlights the issues, concerns and obstacles faced by mothers, children and families. It demonstrates the difference we make in their lives, doing all we can to keep families together. And our Report acknowledges the wonderful generosity of so many in our community, who enable us to deliver effective and life-changing programs for mums-to-be like Jayme and Bridget.

Jayme is 17 and soon to give birth.  She can’t live at home as things are just not great.  Jayme herself has spent time in and out of home care, and she wants to be able to provide a safe and secure place for herself and soon to be newborn.  In her current situation with no reliable place to live, child protection want to know how she’ll provide for herself, her plans in preparing to give birth safely, and where home will be once her baby is born.

Originally from Nepal, Bridget is a young woman who came to Melbourne on a student visa. Unable to work, Bridget was sleeping on a mattress on the floor of a crowded one-bedroom flat with other students. Identified as pregnant and isolated, she was referred to the Society and is now receiving the support she and her soon to be born baby need.

It’s cases like these that highlight the important role of the Society’s maternal wrap around approach in working through the complexities in a case. The sliding door moment when a social worker, knowing the impact of the Society, makes the call to connect a mother like Jayme or Bridget to our practitioners rather than the potential risk of a report to child protection.

As you read over this Report – reflecting on the stories, the vision and focus as set down in our new strategic plan – please consider how you can help us keep the momentum going…

The momentum that means a newborn won’t be separated from their mother at birth due to involvement of child protection. The momentum that when a mother is referred to us, we can start working on an outcome that means she has access to services and a wrap-around approach that works closely to build her capacity for early parenting; to nurture and care for her child; and to be able to provide a safe and secure place to live.

It does take a village to care, protect and help families thrive, and it’s our commitment to mothers and their families that we strive for in our work every day.