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Emma and a Fair Go - Western Springboard Success Story

22 Aug 2017 - Emma didn't think anybody believed in her... that all changed when she connected with WCIG's Western Springboard program.

Emma* is 17 years old and has been in residential care since she was 12 years old. Emma experiences numerous mental health issues, including high social anxiety and significant behavioural issues. Whilst she was in residential care, Emma believed that nobody thought she would get better and that nobody would be willing to give her a chance.

Emma attended numerous schools from the time she entered residential care but was expelled due to behavioural issues. Schools refused subsequent enrolments until Emma engaged with a flexible learning centre that conducted after-hours classes; the aim in attending these classes was to minimise her social anxiety. After attending sporadically for 2 years, Emma disengaged from education entirely.

Emma was referred to WCIG in 2016 and initially had difficulty engaging with the program due to her background and high turnover with workers in residential care. This is when her ‘view changed’. She could see immediately that her WCIG worker would motivate and encourage her to strive to do better with her education in a way that she had not experienced before. Emma still struggled with mental health and behavioural issues, but her worker assisted her through this.

Emma felt consistently supported and encouraged to make the best of her opportunities and her potential. The advice and encouragement was instrumental in assisting Emma to overcome her personal and educational barriers. Emma completed a fully accredited course, funded by WCIG, to equip her with skills applicable to the beauty industry – this was the first educational achievement in Emma’s life. To get to this stage, Emma and her worker engaged in numerous preparations including mental health referrals, linkages to housing assistance, career mapping and ‘taster’ courses to ensure she could cope in the environment. Along with these supports, her worker also engaged with the trainer of her chosen qualification to ensure that all of Emma’s ongoing issues were taken into account and managed effectively in the classroom setting. Emma’s confidence blossomed and regular debrief sessions were demonstrating this progress.

Following this, Emma was motivated to complete several other courses including life skills workshops and art therapy classes. She has also obtained her Learner Driver Permit and is completing driving lessons, as well as completing a Certificate III in Retail Baking, due to finish in December 2017. Emma is also working part time in the hospitality industry.

Emma believes that she would have never come this far if it weren’t for the constant help and support of her worker and the assistance of WCIG.

Well done Emma!


*Name has been changed for privacy