Rising Above Adversity with Better Futures

21/12/2022

Migrating from your home country and assimiliating into a new way of life is not easy, particularly for young people, including Judith.

Judith is the epitome of resilience and determination. She migrated from Congo, Africa, to Australia several years ago with her father and siblings. Unfortunately, the family was unable to stay together. Instead, Judith endured several significant changes to her living arrangements before calling a place ‘home’. After suffering significant trauma within her family unit, Judith moved into foster care, where she would stay until she turned 18. At 18, she moved into a property managed by Anglicare’s Compass Program. Upon turning 20, with Better Futures support, Judith successfully secured a private rental property in Footscray where she now enjoys her independence while focusing on achieving her education and employment goals. Judith’s journey thus far, however, has not been without the continued support and reassurance of WCIG’s Better Futures program.

Judith was referred to WCIG’s Better Futures program while she was still studying VCE at Laverton Secondary College. She was about to turn 18 and leave foster care. It was a time when Judith felt very uncertain about her future.
When Judith began the Better Futures program, she was introduced to Luna, her Youth Worker. Together they would organise Judith’s new living arrangements and work towards achieving her education, employment, health and wellbeing goals.

A strong bond between Judith and Luna flourished over time. In the beginning, Luna took Judith to African cafes around Footscray where she would feel most at ease and reconnect with the African cultural way. With an invested interest in Judith’s upbringing and an understanding of her family history, concerns and vulnerabilities a robust and trusting relationship developed between the two.

Judith’s successful transition was largely due to Luna’s ability to guide her through the pros and cons of living independently, such as managing a budget, and paying rent on time. She also encouraged Judith to attend her care team’s meetings and be involved in her care plan so that she could voice her preferences as to where she would like to live. After all, it was imperative
Judith lived in an area she felt safe and welcomed, and she got all the home essentials she needed to settle in well (e.g., furniture).

Through Better Future’s brokerage, four weeks rent was paid in advance to secure the property, the cost of the removalist was covered, and Judith was able to purchase all the necessities she needed.

Having settled into her new home, Better Futures, with Luna’s unwavering commitment, is now supporting Judith in levelling up her employability skills. She is currently studying various short courses, including a barista and coffee-making masterclass, that will eventually open the doors to various employment opportunities within the hospitality industry. Judith was also provided with a laptop so that she could remain committed to her learning.

WCIG’s Better Futures program will continue supporting Judith in achieving her goals until she turns 21.

“Being a part of Better Future has been one of the best experiences. I have had a lot of help. I have been given a lot of opportunities. My worker, Luna, has helped me a lot, through my lowest and highest moments. all I can say is that I have had the best times with many more to come.” Judith, Better Futures

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