Choices Open Up for Kempsey Mum on ParentsNext

With the help of ParentsNext a Kempsey single mum was able to access guidance, support and financial assistance to enrol in TAFE to learn new skills, overcome travel challenges and access employment options in the region. This is her story of success.

I am a single mum with 2 beautiful young boys and I have been with Parents Next just over 12 months. So much has happened within this time.

At first I was unsure of how ParentsNext could assist me. I was concerned about getting to appointments as I live over an hour away and have no phone service, but my Mentor Karen understood and we would email each other regularly.

I used to work as a Vet Nurse and when I was ready to return to work, I wanted to do something new. So, I enrolled into TAFE Cert III Aged Care at Kempsey Campus to gain new skills.

Soon, a job opportunity presented itself at Port Macquarie Hospital that I really wanted – so I went for it! I was so excited when I was the successful candidate. I was disappointed I had to withdraw from going to TAFE but paid work was important to me.

A requirement of my job was to obtain a specific qualification so I re-enrolled back into TAFE via on-line study while working. I was also required to have blood tests and certain immunisations so I am very thankful the ParentsNext Program was able to help me financially with this.

It was also 2 hours travel each way for me to get to and from work, I could not have done this without the fuel assistance I was able to access.

My next hurdle was not working enough hours so the great job I had was not benefiting my family. My Mentor Karen would listen and we began discussing and exploring alternatives. Part of my plan was to remain in my current job until I got another one closer to home, but I wasn’t having much luck.

As I live on a large property the 2021 flood damage really impacted, I was facing financial hardship and struggling to work out how I was going to pay my car insurance. Karen always had time to talk things through with me and again the ParentsNext program was able to help.

I spoke about feeling guilty as I knew I needed to leave my job but was reassured it’s ok, ParentsNext are here to support my journey and choices so we made a plan.

I decided to start working for myself, withdrew from the TAFE course I was doing and resigned from the hospital.

I am now working full time as a support worker, working much closer to home and no longer traveling 4 hours for a shift. I’m so glad I was supported in this decision.

I have chosen to remain as a voluntary participant with ParentsNext for many reasons. You never know what life throws at us and when support will be needed.

I want to complete the Cert III in Disability Support qualification, the course is not offered via TAFE in my area however ParentsNext can assist me with the enrolment fees via another training organisation so I can study on-line part time while working.

Its piece of mind to know my ParentsNext Mentor has my back and will do whatever she can to help me achieve my goals.

Are you Eligible for ParentsNext?

If you have young children and receive a Parenting Payment from Centrelink, you could be eligible to access all of the benefits of the ParentsNext. Get in contact with CHESS Connect today to be linked with one of our ParentsNext Mentors.