More than one in six children in Australia are living in poverty. Wesley Mission focuses on identifying and addressing risks—like long-term unemployment, mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction—before they lead to family breakdown. Through counselling, parenting skills, employment support, financial education and other services, we help parents give children the care and security they need for a healthy start to life.
Wesley Brighter Futures implements new coaching model
Wesley Brighter Futures builds stronger families by preventing family problems from escalating, which can impact their ability to care for their children.
Wesley Brighter Futures’ new coaching framework, Foundations for Change, is motivating parents to take further ownership of caring for their children.
Under the framework, we’re empowering parents to make positive parenting decisions. Wesley Brighter Futures’ caseworkers walk alongside parents, guide them with their parenting choices and educate them about safely caring for their children.
Leading the way in child safety
We’re committed to keeping children safe. Wesley Brighter Futures is in its fourth year of running the SafeCare model, an evidence-based, behavioural skills training program for parents of children identified as being at-risk or who have been reported to child protection services.
A program developed by Georgia State University in Atlanta, Wesley Mission’s SafeCare program has successfully lowered reports of child abuse and neglect and empowers parents with the education, understanding and skills to safely care for their children.
This year we became the first non-government organisation to become SafeCare accredited in NSW. We now have three qualified SafeCare coaches who can train staff across the state to deliver the SafeCare program.
Preventing children from entering foster care
Wesley Mission believes early intervention and the right support systems are key to keeping families together and preventing children from entering the foster care system. In 2018/19, the NSW Government awarded us a new contract to run a preservation and restoration model as part of our existing out-of-home-care program. This year our family preservation model prevented 22 children from entering the foster care system. Through support from Wesley Mission life coaches and psychologists, families develop practical problem-solving skills and work towards building a safer home environment.
Wesley OOSH opened two new centres
We supported parents who struggle to balance work while caring for their children, by opening another two Wesley Out of School Hours (OOSH) centres. Located at Epping West Public School and North Kellyville Public School, our centres offer before and after school care as well as vacation care.
North Kellyville Public School is part of the expanding North-West Sydney region and opened in late January 2019. Many families in this area have large mortgages from their purchased properties, which requires both parents to work. We responded to this community’s need for growth by tendering for and successfully achieving the opportunity to open Wesley OOSH at the launch of North Kellyville Public School. We currently have 60 children attending before school care, 90 in after school care and around 40 children at vacation care. Our centre is licensed to accommodate 100 children and can increase up to 150, if required.
The number of students enrolled at Epping West Public School has grown significantly in recent years and so has the need for care outside of school hours. We invested $450,000 into building a new centre to accommodate 65 children with a further 142 housed in additional rooms at Epping West Public School. Currently 80 children are attending before school care and 190 in after school care at Wesley OOSH. A further 90 children are also accessing vacation care during the school holidays.
2018 volunteer of the year
This year’s award was given to Helen, who has been a volunteer mentor with the Wesley Aunties & Uncles program since 2013. The program sees volunteers offer mentoring, care and guidance to children up to 12 years of age.
Through mentoring, Helen has helped a single mother recovering from breast cancer treatment by taking her child on outings, allowing the mother to rest and recover. Helen has become a real ‘auntie’ to the child and mother. As well as supporting the family through homelessness, Helen has introduced her linked family to her husband, grown up children and their children, giving them an extended family they had never experienced before.