Young mums at Coolock House have been surprised with picnic baskets packed with goodies ahead of Mother’s Day on Sunday.
Eight families yesterday enjoyed the spoils of their special gift over an autumn lunch, made possible by the generosity of Soroptimist International – Southern Districts branch.
The Soroptimists donated 16 picnic baskets, one for every mum engaged in the Morphett Vale-based Young Family Support Program (YFSP).
“We wanted to give them something that they could keep to highlight the special role they are playing in raising their children while also overcoming barriers of their own,’’ Soroptimists President Lyn Palmer said.
One of four Centacare YFSP sites across metropolitan Adelaide, Coolock House supports young pregnant or parenting women, aged up to 25 years, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
In a card tied to one picnic basket, Soroptimists member Barbara Francis wrote: “Successful mothers are not the ones who have never struggled, they are the ones that never give up.’’
Coolock House Manager Anthea Francis said celebrations such as Mother’s Day are often unfamiliar for young mums who are learning to parent on the back of childhood trauma and other complexities.
“Parenting is filled with rewards and challenges for all of us, but parenting with limited positive supports creates additional challenges,’’ she said.
“That’s why it’s important to give them positive feedback and acknowledge the love and commitment they show every day in meeting their children’s needs.’’
Six families are currently living at Coolock House, with a further ten young mums supported in transitional housing. In 2019/20, the service supported 111 clients including 51 mothers and 60 children.
Through onsite and outreach support, clients are assisted to set goals, re-engage with education, develop independent living and parenting skills, and transition into long-term housing.
At Hannah Place, Pooraka, preparations are in full swing for Sunday brunch.
Social Worker Fatima Krivdic said while the service celebrates mums every day, Mother’s Day is an opportunity to emphasise their strengths and achievements.
Hannah Place supports young women aged up to 18 years who are under Guardianship of the Minister and are pregnant or parenting and require support to bond with, and care for, their baby.
“Staff have made personalised gifts to represent each young mum’s unique growth,’’ Fatima said.
“We tell our girls: A mother is like a flower – each one beautiful and unique.’’
Megan Welsh, Executive Manager, Youth and Community Support Services said motherhood could set young mums on a new trajectory: “They often have really tricky relationships with their mums and that brings up all sorts of stuff around what it is to be a mum and how they want their experience to be different to their own upbringing.
“Becoming a mum is a total shift in their lives. They can spring off it and change their own family trajectory.’’