Today we meet Jane, a young mother who sought refuge at Coolock House after fleeing an abusive relationship. Determined to create a bright future for her baby, Jane overcome a series of challenges with the help of Centacare’s Young Family Support Program.
Coolock House at Morphett Vale provides 24-hour supported accommodation for young women aged up to 25 years who are pregnant or parenting and experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Jane came to Coolock House with her seven-month-old baby after fleeing domestic violence.
The 24-year-old had endured significant physical, emotional, and psychological abuse which continued after she left the relationship.
Jane created a home for herself and her baby at Coolock and was a nurturing mum.
She established new routines and talked about her hopes and dreams for the future.
Jane soon became a leader on site. She encouraged fellow mums on their journeys and connected to her Aboriginal culture through Sacred Little Ones parenting group.
Determined to provide for her baby, Jane got her paperwork in order, wrote her resume and began looking for employment opportunities.
She credited the stability and security of Coolock House for providing the foundation to build a new life free from abuse.
In late 2021, Jane’s former partner withheld her baby after a routine access visit.
For the next 11 weeks, Jane foughtevery waking hour to have their baby safely returned to her care. She would often spend days in the Coolock office talking through situations with staff whose support gave her a sense of hope amidst the unknown.
Jane engaged with legal Services, sought specialist domestic violence counselling through Centacare, and participated in Circle Of Security and Women are Strong groups.
Nearly three months later, she was reunited with her baby. Jane said she had never felt so happy or relieved.
She immediately recognised the impact of their separation on her child who would cry when she was out of sight. Jane worked hard to meet the baby’s needs and was awarded full custody of her child in the Family Court.
This sharpened her focus on the future even further.
Centacareconnected Jane with Rent Right SA, and with support, she secured a long-term, private rental – the first such outcome for the Coolock House team since the onset of COVID-19.
Jane’s showed remarkable persistence and determination to lay roots for herself and her child and staff could not be more proud of what she has achieved.
The team will never forget watching Jane on her journey as she grew in strength, courage and perseverance each day.
It was a privilege to walk by her side.
Merry Christmas, Jane. May the road ahead bring joy to you and your child.