Caring for young children alone while struggling to get help with her own medical needs, Jessica had no room for any thoughts or even hope of one day being able to join the workforce.  

When Jessica first connected with our Tuncurry through the ParentsNext program in April 2021, the initial focus for support was mainly to address several non-vocational issues. Despite all the challenges, Jessica remained resilient and determined to find a way to improve her situation and provide a better life for her family.

Jessica and her Support Mentor, Mervyn, negotiated and regularly reviewed the plan to access a range of supports tailored to her specific needs, including linking with local community contacts for help with housing issues and gaining confidence with technology to access quality online community information resources such as the library and parenting websites.

Much later, when Jessica was satisfied with the support networks developed, her thoughts turned to being able to work and improve her family’s financial health. Mervyn provided Jessica with vocational guidance about local job opportunities.

He supported her to settle on starting with a realistic goal of customer service work with the potential to offer school hours. Bamara provided personalised support for Jessica to create a resume highlighting the qualities local retail employers sought.

In addition, Jessica completed an accredited online short course in Working with Diverse People with Bamara Training, which was included as a key selling point.

Having developed a winning resume, Jessica felt confident approaching local employers in person and starting to develop new job searching skills and contacts.

Jessica is now very proud to be part of the team at a local department store where, each day, she’s further developing career skills across various departments, and confidence in her ability to succeed in managing the competing demands of raising children, looking after herself and being able to access all the benefits of being in the workforce.

Mervyn also assisted Jessica in accessing the ParentsNext Participation Fund, which covered the cost of new shoes and workwear for her new job, and he continues to be impressed by the progress made in the three years since their first meeting.

Jessica may have lacked confidence in herself at the outset, but she has always been willing to seek and accept help.

“Consistently engaging with expertise and resources in the local community has been one of Jessica’s major strengths,” Merv said.

“I have every confidence there’s unlimited potential for ongoing personal, family and career achievement in her future.

Connect with our ParentsNext team  

Our ParentsNext service helps you identify your goals – whether they’re family-focused or career-driven – and provides you with or helps you access the resources you need to work towards, and ultimately achieve, those goals.

We listen to what matters most to you and your family. Our dedicated team of experienced Support mentors will provide individualised support to help you achieve your goals.

Contact us today to get started.