The Rumbalara Football Netball Club is assisting parents in making life defining choices towards their future.

Launched last year, ParentsNext is a government program run in partnership with Catholic Care, Mission Australia and SalvoCare. Case manager Jessica Nicholson said the program assisted parents with children under the age of six, who have been out of work or study long-term.

“We run the program here on Thursday to help with some of the barriers the parents have that may include anxiety, stress and depression,” Jessica said. “We help them identify their goals and what type of career path they’d like to take and the steps after that if they want to continue in study or go straight into work. “It really just helps them get out of the house and knock down the barriers they face.”

During the program parents enjoy traditional basket weaving, painting and ceramics, and are encouraged to bring their children and family members along. SalvoCare also assists participants’ financial needs including budgeting and debt advice as well as resume writing. Known as a community meeting space, Jessica said Rumba was the perfect place for the ParentsNext program. “We create a safe cultural experience and environment,” she said. “Out here we have an environment that is safe for kids; they don’t feel overwhelmed whereas if they go into an office building it can be daunting.”

Before Jessica started as a case manager she had been a stay-at-home mum herself and said she wanted to help other mums gain employment or go back to study. While the program has only been running for just over a year, Jessica said she has seen much success with 10 to 20 people regularly attending the sessions. “From the start we had five or six ladies but now it’s just grown so much,” she said.

“I’ve had five girls from this program who started this year go on to ASHE and commence the Certificate IV in Community Services.”

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