Mother’s Day will conclude a week of celebrations for young mums supported by Centacare services.
The annual celebration is an opportunity to instil confidence and pride in young women who are learning to parent on the back of childhood trauma and other complexities.
For Anthea Francis, Manager of Centacare’s Young Family Support Program (YFSP), it is a day to reflect on clients’ strength and resilience.
‘’Parenting challenges all of us in different ways, but for young mums with limited positive supports, it can be especially daunting,’’ she said.
‘’I am constantly amazed by their resilience. Often, they have been through so much themselves and have not necessarily had the childhood that you and I might have had, but regardless, they are putting their children first and striving to be the best mums they can be.
‘’To be involved in supporting them along that journey of parenthood, and to be alongside them in the ups and downs, is a real privilege.’’
Thanks to a donation from St Ignatius parish, YFSP sites across metropolitan Adelaide this week hosted Mother’s Day events, with clients gifted parcels of goodies donated by the Purple Bin Project.
A family picnic at Coolock House on Wednesday kicked off the celebrations, followed by a high tea at Louise Place on Thursday. On Sunday, young families at Malvern Place will gather onsite for a children’s disco and pizza night.
YFSP is currently supporting 53 mothers and 56 children across four sites, and four families who are transitioning to long-term accommodation.
Through onsite and outreach support, clients are assisted to set goals, re-engage with education, develop independent living and parenting skills, and work towards finding safe and secure housing.
On Sunday, Crystal Naidoo, a specialist reunification foster carer with Centacare, will remind the siblings in her family’s care of their mother’s love.
‘’I just hope she knows I won’t let them forget her,’’ Crystal said.
‘’I often say a little prayer in the morning, or before I go to bed, for all the kids out there who are not with their mums, and for the mums who are not with their kids, and for their dads as well.’’
Breathing Space case managers Caz McClure and Oakleigh Lehmann said Mother’s Day was a difficult day for some clients.
Based at Noarlunga, the service works with women aged under 25 years who have experienced removal of a child or children from their care.
‘’The conversations with mums who have raised Mother’s Day have been about being gentle on themselves, reaching out to their natural supports and acknowledging it can be a tricky day,’’ Caz said.