Helping Young Mums when they need it the most

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During the 2017 Grants round, 100 Women provided $27,500 to Youth Futures WA’s NEST Project – the only initiative in Perth that assists young women and their babies at risk of homelessness to ensure that they have suitable, safe accommodation and therefore maintain custody of their child.

100 Women member contributions went to the purchase of furniture, white goods and other necessities to ensure that Youth Future WA’s properties are equipped appropriately – safe and operational for client’s individual needs. With limited funding in the past, the household white goods and appliances had become old, unsafe or were simply missing. With 100 Women’s support, the new equipment benefited not only young mothers and babies currently in urgent need of a home, but also those into future – leveraging our investment.

In this past year alone, Youth Futures worked with 26 young women and their children – operating at full capacity to provide 365 days of safe, secure accommodation and 1,189 hours of support, ensuring that the young mothers were able to maintain custody and develop a loving bond with their baby and begin to understand their role as parent in a supported environment.

Of the 26 clients, 16 were mums and babies escaping domestic violence. In these cases, the young women also received help to establish restraining orders and supported by a youth worker to learn boundaries of a healthy relationship and address the normalisation of domestic violence that they experienced in their upbringing.

100 Women’s support was critical in helping the NEST program achieve it’s the overarching goal of helping young mums maintain custody and develop their independent living skills.

Meet Latisha

Latisha had just turned 16 when she moved into one of our Nest properties with her four-month-old baby boy, Theo. Wanting a better future for herself and her baby, Latisha had left home to escape a mum who was violent and using drugs. To keep herself and Theo safe, she had also taken out a violence restraining order on her ex-boyfriend, Theo’s father.

Now with the support of our Nest worker, Latisha was able to focus on being the best mum she could. Not having lived by herself before, she didn’t have any independent living skills and was helped to set up utilities and learn vital skills such as budgeting and cleaning. As Theo grew, our Nest worker was there to guide Latisha through infant milestones such as transitioning to solids and getting immunisations. He thrived in a safe and loving house.

Latisha is a proud Ngadju woman and in a true display of generosity she doubled her parenting duties when a friend left her baby girl with Latisha while she travelled up north for two months. During this time Latisha showed a great deal of maturity and strength.

In July, Latisha decided to get her education back on track and enrolled at our Comet CaRE School campus in Clarkson. Here she completed her Certificate II in General Education while also making an effort to get healthy through the yoga and gym classes offered. Again her positive attitude and dedication didn’t go unnoticed. She was presented with the Positive Participation Award at the school’s graduation ceremony in December.

Hear Latisha’s words

“The Nest has helped me to be more independent. It has supported me to go to back to school, to start driving lessons and to learn about having my own house. The worker has been friendly and we have built a special bond, which has helped to ease into the program. I have been helped with a lot of things such as clothes, food and baby items which has been useful when I’ve had little money. I have now got my own house, started at TAFE and am living independently with my son. I appreciate all the help the nest has given me and I cannot thank them enough”

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