Lives Behind the numbers Case Study
Meet Aber*, mother of 3 beautiful sons. Arriving almost a year and a half ago, her sons were now enrolled in school, two attending local public school and one of preschool age. She had been informed by the primary school that her son, currently in Year 5, was going to be put back a couple of years as he was not coping. Understanding this to be negative, she was shocked and very distressed.
She began to think of ways she could help her son… borrowing books from the local library, photocopying but costing $100. Feeling in despair, she came to the MRC as our Parenting Place staff were returning from a session. Arms full of with guitars and children’s equipment they saw the woman crying at reception. Our team provided the mother with a space to feel safe, calm and heard. As her story unfolded, our staff reassured her that we could help.
The journey of contacting the school, study plans for her son, and wrap-around services began to take shape. Aber joined the Parenting Place program at the MRC to help her feel connected to other mums in her community, and to have space for her to feel supported. Meet and greet sessions with the children, follow up appointments, summary reports and plans were created alongside the school, ensuring the support the mother receives is wholistic. Through COVID-19 sessions were put in place through weekly phone and online forums, alongside a homework support buddy, ongoing translations and supports to both the mother and son.
Building connections with school teachers is fundamental, facilitating two-way resolutions. Aber now feels informed and confident in making decisions and resolving concerns as well as having visibility on progress for her son. It has been 5 months since this family came to Western Sydney MRC and connecting with The Parenting Place, and Aber and her son are now receiving personalised homework and study support, alongside ongoing parent-teacher consultations across all aspect of her son’s education and schooling progress. This family now has a designated teacher at school to support and provide free homework revision and review every 4 weeks.
Aber has increased her self confidence and understanding of her son’s level of learning at school. Facilitating strong and positive connections with not only Western Sydney MRC but the local public school has allowed us to address the family’s individual needs.
Individuals that have not only arrived here as refugees, but are parents, sons, teachers, and children, are trying to navigate new systems, new ways of learning and living. The school is now working closing with Aber to help her younger son. Trauma counselling is now made available for the family through STARTTS as well as assessments for their health and wellbeing long term.
*Name has been changed