A fading photocopied poem is surrounded by scores of baby photos on the pinboard at Hannah Place.

The words about what makes a mum special speak loudly to Social Worker Fatima Krivdic.

The poem, she says, is a reminder of what most of us have but what others go without – sometimes for their whole lives.

The love a mother shares, the many little thoughtful things that show how much she cares…

When you’re little she protects you, she tucks you in at night, and when she knows you’re ready she steps aside, but still she watches over you with tender loving pride.

“Our clients didn’t have this and we endeavour to work alongside them to provide this for their children,’’ Fatima says.

“We will always go the extra mile to support them, even if we don’t always support the choices they make.’’

Fatima is a founding staff member of Hannah Place where young women under the Guardianship of the Minister who are pregnant and parenting, and require support to bond with and care for their baby, can stay until the age of 18.

Most clients have spent their formative years in and out of foster homes or residential care facilities due to unresolved family crisis, childhood trauma and other complexities such as mental health, sexual violence, and drug use.

Located at Pooraka, Hannah Place opened eight years ago. In 2018/2019, the service has supported 48 young women and their children.

“It’s somewhere they can call home for the first time ever in their life,’’ Fatima says.

“What we love about this place is that we can hug them, we can laugh and cry and get angry with them, and we do – we do all those things.’’

Under a case management framework, clients are supported to develop their parenting capacity and mother/child attachment and, if their child has been removed from their care, to work towards reunification.

“Developmentally the mum might be seven but chronologically she’s 15, so essentially she’s a child trying to parent without a positive template of her own,’’ Fatima says.

“The mother loves the baby but love, sadly, is not enough to raise a child.’’

Outreach support is offered to clients until they are aged 19 but the door at Hannah Place is always open.

“All of them at some point will call just to say hello or to share an achievement with us, or they will come back here if they’re hungry or need somewhere to go, because trust is a huge thing,’’ Fatima says.

On Sunday, staff will host a Mother’s Day lunch for the six women and four children currently living at Hannah Place.

“It will be a big day for sure, not just looking forwards but looking backwards, because 99 per cent of them don’t have any supportive figures in their life, let alone a mother,’’ says Ellen Massie, Youth Support Worker.

“They love to be recognised and acknowledged for the work that they are doing.

“Sometimes they don’t believe us because they’ve never heard that in the past.

“So we praise them every day and look for the positives, not just on Mother’s Day.’’

Fatima Krivdic, left, and Ellen Massie.

Join us this Wednesday, May 2, in Elder Park at a candlelight vigil to remember all women and children who have lost their lives as a result of domestic violence.

​Events are being held across Australia this week in a mark of national remembrance.

The hour-long Adelaide vigil organised by the Coalition of Women’s Domestic Violence Services of South Australia, will begin at the Elder Park rotunda, on the southern bank of the River Torrens, at 5.30pm.

Everyone can play a part in raising awareness of domestic violence and an understanding of warning signs of abuse to support women and children at risk.

As part of the Power to End Violence Against Women education program, Port Adelaide Football Club joined Centacare at last year’s vigil.


The impact of drug use is felt across generations – many young and older people using methamphetamine are parents too.

Centacare’s Kids in Focus (KIF) service supports parents and carergivers who are misusing alcohol and/or other drugs. The team has made this video to illustrate how children can be affected by their parents’ lifestyle.


My world from Centacare on Vimeo.


Based in the northern suburbs, KIF is a home visiting service and uses child-focused interventions to increase parenting capacity, build healthy relationships between parents and their children, and provide safe family environments.

Parents and caregivers may be more susceptible to substance misuse if they have experienced intergenerational and multiple complex trauma, including mental health, family violence and homelessness.

Children in these families are vulnerable and at risk of accumulative chronic childhood neglect and abuse, leading to long-term behaviour and developmental issues and concerns.

Many parents have never known a nurturing, stable environment and, often, do not allow themselves to see the impact of their drug use on their children.

This includes a lack of play and educational opportunities, unrealistic expectations of the child – including the responsibility for caring for other siblings – developmental delays and mental health.

When parents and caregivers use methamphetamine, children often do not have basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter, and they frequently lack adequate supervision and medical care.

Our KIF team works in partnership with families to strengthen relationships, address drug addiction and assist parents to maintain a clear focus on the well-being of children.




This week we are sharing tips and links to help you support your #children to manage their wellbeing and learning.

While the focus is traditionally on the first day of school, families are urged to look out for their children in the coming weeks, as they adjust to new experiences, friendship groups and the demands of learning.

Today we look at separation anxiety.

*If you need extra support, Centacare provides counselling to parents, families and children, and primary and secondary school students. Other support is provided through the National School Chaplaincy Program. For more information, please phone 8215 6700.

Separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is often experienced by parents and children at the start of the new school year.

It is most common in early childhood but may be exacerbated after extensive family time in the holidays, and if your child is apprehensive about their new classroom routine and environment.

They may become upset before school knowing you will soon leave them for the day, and again at drop-off time when the separation occurs.

Most children will bounce back and be relaxed and happy at school but may become upset again at pick-up time when their parent or carer returns and they are reminded of the separation.

Mothers and fathers, too, can feel a sense of loss at leaving their little ones at school.

What can you do for yourself and your children?

  • Teachers are fantastic and usually highly experienced at working through separation anxiety. If your child is finding it hard to leave you, talk to their teacher and see what is possible in terms of supporting your child.
  • Always say goodbye! While it is often tempting to sneak out of the classroom when your child is upset, this will not build trust. Even if your child is upset, reassure them they will be ok and say goodbye. Indicate when you will return. In time, they will learn they are safe and that their carer will always come back.
  • If you are struggling with separation anxiety as a parent, talk to a friend! The school community offers a range of opportunities to connect with other mums, dads and carers. You can also alleviate some anxiety by getting involved with your child’s learning for small periods each week, such as helping at student reading time.
  • Keep a relaxed and happy look on your face when you’re leaving. Even if you are sad, give your child confidence by putting on a happy demeanour.
  • Once at home at night, try not to be negative about what may have occurred that morning. Instead, build your child’s confidence and resilience through positive reassurance.

For more tips and links, visit:






Meeting the Challenge

Centacare Catholic Family Services is a Catholic welfare organisation delivering a range of services across the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide.

Client Services

45 Wakefield Street Adelaide SA 5000
T 08 8215 6700
E enquiries@centacare.org.au

Opening Hours

Monday – Tuesday | 9am – 5pm
Wednesday – Thursday | 9am – 9pm
Friday | 9am – 5pm

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