I have been working at Karinya House since December 2014, starting off as a Client Support Worker and recently moving on to my new position as Caseworker in March 2016. Karinya House holds a very special place in my heart and I had wanted to work here for many years.
In August 2000, after a very short time of knowing that I was pregnant I gave birth to my first child, a son who I named Benjamin. Under the circumstances, and at 17, I was not properly prepared to take my baby home with me. He was placed into temporary foster care so I could organise what was needed to look after him. Then living in my family home, I was told I needed to find an alternative place to live with Ben in order to adapt to being a parent. My best friend at the time had agreed to rent a house together and we started looking on the market. A social worker from the hospital had referred me to Karinya House and a worker got in contact with me. As I was now looking for a house with my friend I did not require accommodation at this point. I was asked to come and talk with staff about my immediate needs, which I did. Feeling scared and alone I worked up the courage to go to Karinya House and was treated with a lot of care and kindness by staff. I was offered material goods to help with Ben, generous support and advice and I was given the opportunity to return should I need further assistance once he was back in my care. Ben was returned to me at 15 days old and we moved into our own place when he was three months old.
After many years of uncertainty and very little support, other than Karinya House in the initial stages, I now have a healthy, happy 15 year old. Receiving such help and support as a young single mother made me realise that I too wanted to help people in need. I obtained the relevant qualifications and applied to work in the community sector. Not only did I get the opportunity to work and volunteer in a few different organisations in the ACT. I applied for a job with Karinya House and was offered a position within a day of having my interview. I work with some exceptional people who are so dedicated to helping women in need, who are so supportive of not only clients but staff and volunteers as well, and I’m right where I want to be. Thank you Karinya!