A Federal Government program to help parents plan for the future by the time their youngest child goes to school has been launched in five Salvation Army corps (churches) across South Australia.
ParentsNext, delivered by Employment Plus in Adelaide, is designed for parents who have been receiving parenting payments for more than six months and whose youngest child is under six years of age. The program offers coaching sessions to help them set and achieve education and employment goals.
Employment Plus ParentsNext team leader Vanessa Kearney said coaches were supporting more than 600 families referred to them by Centrelink.
“It’s really interesting, as parents come to the appointment because Centrelink has told them that they need to attend, and in some cases they are very defensive and a little bit disgruntled...but once we talk with them and they realise that we’re here to help and assist them achieve their goals, they tend to go: ‘Wow, this is great!’” she says.
Employment Plus ParentsNext Team Leader Vanessa Kearney says partnering with The Salvation Army’s large network of services has been invaluable.
ParentsNext coaches in Adelaide have already assisted many participants to find employment. They have also referred some women to family violence counselling and have helped others gain the skills and confidence to be job-ready.
She says partnering with The Salvation Army’s large network of services has been invaluable, with many ParentsNext participants being invited to join corps playgroups, financial counselling services and other programs.
“I think the strength of our Salvation Army support services, along with the experience our coaches have, makes us well placed to achieve some good outcomes,” Vanessa says. “It truly is transforming Australia one life at a time.”