Olivia’s behaviour throughout this support period proved to be extremely high-risk and difficult to manage. Olivia would often experience major mood swings and issues in managing her anger due to the co-existence of significant mental health issues (depression and anxiety) and drug use (‘ICE’ and cannabis). Olivia’s behaviour was also compounded by the trauma associated with her DHHS care history, and exposure to family violence within her romantic relationships and within her mother’s home. Olivia’s Support Worker referred her to the HYDDI program for support.
Olivia experienced feelings of rejection and abandonment, given she was having minimal contact with her father, whom had remarried and had more children. Olivia also found it difficult to manage her co-dependent relationships with her mother and sister, whom would often use [drugs] together whilst Olivia was attempting to abstain from any use. Olivia’s mother and sister would also rely on Olivia to purchase food and pay her mother’s outstanding utility bills, in order to have running gas, electricity and water.
Olivia sustained accommodation with her mother for a short period of time, prior to falling pregnant with daughter, Penny. Olivia began couch surfing again, and at this time became sober. Olivia was able to access a crisis property through SalvoCare Eastern, upon being referred to and successful for a Family Access Network supported family property in February 2016.
Olivia has achieved a number of goals during this support period, such as organising debts and x20 outstanding infringements, budgeting, remaining sober, managing being a new mother, running a successful household and gaining long-term accommodation through the Office of Housing. Olivia has also been able to return to study, having commenced her year 11 and 12 equivalent via the Family Access Network iVCAL program.
Olivia completed mainstream schooling up until Year 10. School was a challenge as her mother and sister have significant mental health issues and she became a carer for them both. There was also lots of conflict in the home and she couldn’t live there anymore so became homeless. It wasn’t until having a baby that she wanted to make changes in her life to be a good role model for her daughter. She sees by doing iVCAL she can then go onto further education and get a better job. and knows she needs a higher qualification to do further studies. Olivia is not sure what career she would like to pursue yet but plans to complete iVCAL next year and then explore her options. She wants to be a role model to her daughter by getting an education and a career.