In 2018, *Fiona phoned a crisis helpline seeking support for a serious amphetamine addiction she feared would ruin her life.
The mother-of-one was referred to a drug and alcohol service where a social worker suggested she reach out to Centacare program Kids in Focus (KIF).
Based at Salisbury, KIF works in partnership with families for up to 18 months to increase parenting capacity, minimise harm caused by substance misuse, and create safe home environments.
At KIF, Fiona met Family Practitioner Jan Player, and the program quickly became her biggest support.
By Fiona’s own admission, she was not the easiest client.
In denial about the effect her drug use was having on her daughter – who was unaware of her daily struggle – Fiona’s progress was slow.
But as her “wretched addiction’’ worsened, her resolve to escape its grip grew stronger.
In April this year, Fiona wrote to Team Leader Chantal Dodd to outline the many ways Jan and KIF had brought her back from the brink.
It all boiled down to the team’s support, she said. Not once had Jan doubted her, even in the moments Fiona gave up on herself.
Fiona noted the comfort she found in KIF groups such as Photovoice which involved taking photographs to reflect significant moments in her recovery journey.
“It really made us take a look at ourselves and our families while teaching us and boosting our morale with people who were in the same situations as ourselves,’’ she wrote.
“To groups doing crafts, or just having coffee and talking about whatever we needed to talk about, all the while constantly being assured that we were worth it.’’
Fiona wrote her daughter had never questioned why Jan and KIF had become a staple in their lives, until a few years later.
“I told her that being a single parent is hard sometimes and I wanted to be the best parent I could for her, so I asked for some help and I got Jan!’’
Fiona is now drug free, studying and working towards regaining employment.
While sad to close with KIF, Fiona wrote it was comforting to know other families facing substance misuse challenges had KIF’s support.
“Not only have mine and my daughter’s lives changed for the better on such a grand scale, but the changes I have made will change the course of not only my daughter’s life, but her children – children that are yet to be born.
“I am so proud to have made it.’’
*Not her real name