Wesley ParentsNext is a flexible and supportive program for parents with young children. We support you to plan ahead and work towards your education and employment goals at a pace that suits your family and circumstances.
What does Wesley ParentsNext do?
We understand that parents are busy raising their children and it can be hard to juggle everything. When working with Wesley ParentsNext, you will be able to set your own meaningful goals and pursue them whilst still prioritising your children. There is no cost to participate. Most parents are referred by Centrelink, but if you meet the eligibility criteria you can self-refer to Wesley ParentsNext.
Wesley ParentsNext works with you to identify short and long term goals. Once the goals are in place we identify the steps you’d like to take to achieve those goals. Each parent’s goals are different depending on their interests, strengths, past work experiences, and passions. To give you an idea, here are some goals of our current participants:
|To build my confidence and strengthen my English skills by attending English Conversation Classes each Friday, so that in the future I can study to become a Teacher’s Aide.||To research how to become an interpreter so that I can study next year when my child is at school. I will be speaking to training providers, going to open days, researching career pathways and talking to employers.|
|To update my resume, practice my interview skills, and undertake job search activities to gain part-time employment in the hospitality sector.||To support my child attend the Toddler Behaviour Clinic so that he can attend daycare in the future and I can enrol in university to become a midwife.|
|To work in a career where I help other people. I will enrol in a Certificate III in Individual Support–Disability and complete 120 hours of work experience so that I can become a support worker.||To find secure accommodation for myself and my children, and then return to work as a medical receptionist.|
As this is a pre-employment program, you are not expected to study or work immediately if it is not your goal to do so. Our consultants provide tailored support, so that you achieve your goals in realistic timeframes. We do this through appointments (we meet with you at least four to six times a year, and more often when it is helpful to do so) and connect you with community services, government agencies, training providers, work experience opportunities and employment.
What does Wesley Mission add to this program?
Consider us to be your personal cheer squad. Come to us as you are, and we will provide flexible and non-judgemental support. We are human too, and know that the road to achieving our goals is messy and gets interrupted (especially when children are involved)!
We also understand that sometimes you can’t achieve your big goals until other issues are resolved first. Wesley ParentsNext consultants are familiar with the local community. We can connect you into specialist supports and practical activities, including:
- training opportunities and courses designed specifically for parents
- job readiness workshops and career coaching
- mental health support groups and specialists
- community service providers who focus on domestic violence, homelessness, and financial crisis
- positive parenting courses
- volunteer opportunities
- child-focussed supports for behaviour, development, and health needs.
Wesley ParentsNext is part of Wesley Mission, a community services organisation with the goal to 'do all the good you can'. We utilise other programs in Wesley Mission to access quick referrals and additional support.
For example, Wesley Vocational Institute designs short courses and certificates that align with parent interest and local employment opportunities, and run them within school hours so that parents can attend. Wesley Mission also has programs for parenting, financial literacy, emergency relief, mental health, disability and housing.
When working with Wesley ParentsNext, you will strengthen their skills and build a network of support so you are in a better position to gain and maintain employment when you are ready.
What will I gain by taking part in the program?
Wesley ParentsNext can help you:
- build self confidence
- connect and develop friendships and relationships in your local community
- access mental health support and counselling services
- connect with and access local services to address personal, financial, parenting or family needs
- enrol and take part in education and training courses
- research career options that suit your personality and skills
- find work experience and volunteer opportunities to build your skills
- undertake job search activities and re-enter employment.
In a survey of Wesley ParentsNext participants in 2019, our parents reported that:
- 97 per cent were completely satisfied with their overall experience of the program.
- 97 per cent were satisfied or very satisfied with the support they received
- 87 per cent felt that they were listened to, understood and respected.
They also said:
|"I always feel great leaving the office. They have definitely helped me in many areas"||"My consultant goes above and beyond to help and is very understanding"|
|“I have been supported to get into a course and work towards my goals”||“Wesley ParentsNext has supported me through a difficult period which allowed me to get back on top and on my feet”|
What kinds of support will I receive?
To support parents to make progress towards their goals, the Wesley ParentsNext team:
- speaks to parents regularly, in person, over the phone, and in writing
- supports parents to attend in-between appointments, workshops and group work activities
- gives parents flexibility to adapt their plans when personal circumstances or goals change
- supports parents to identify and set goals that are meaningful to them
- responds when parents identify that they need to access other services to support their goals.
Wesley ParentsNext strives to offer support that is flexible, respectful and helpful. We will adapt our program to ensure that you can fully participate whilst focusing on your family and your goals.