Reconnect – A Case Study

Reconnecting with education, relationships and life-skills

Relationships … Anne (14 years) engaged with the Reconnect Program in 2017 after struggling to maintain a healthy relationship. Anne, her mother, step-father, young sibling as well as her biological father met with a Reconnect Practitioner for individual, group and parent/child sessions. Anne disclosed that there were events of family violence and incidents of inappropriate parenting from both her mother and step-father. For Anne, these factors made it difficult for her to enjoy a healthy and positive relationship with her parents and remain in her family home.

Anne made the decision to leave and with the help from the Reconnect Team accessed emergency accommodation at the Youth Shelter. Anne’s step-father was referred to the RA Tas MENS Program, a program where men can learn new strategies to address and reduce instances of violent behaviour.

Anne’s mother and step-father attended a parenting workshop at RA Tas and participated in family mediation sessions, accompanied by Anne and a Reconnect Practitioner. The family continue to be engaged with the Reconnect Program and are receiving support through various other RA Tas support services.

For Anne it is important that she has healthy and positive relationships in her life, the Reconnect Team has helped Anne connect with psychological support as well as engage in a new education system. Anne continues to be supported by the Reconnect Team to maintain connection with both her mother and step-father and has recently established a safer medium-term accommodation option with her biological father while she continues to build healthier relationships with her family.

Education … Sam (13 years) was referred to the Reconnect Program in October 2017 after struggling to engage with education. The Reconnect Team have supported Sam and his mother to enrol at two different schools and have participated in school meetings to negotiate an adjusted class timetable.

Often Reconnect Practitioners advocate on behalf of the young people in the program; for Sam, this has meant receiving support to remain engaged at school and attain a level of education that will enable him to become independent and skilled for the future. Sam and his mother continue to work with the Reconnect Team to ensure Sam feels confident and engaged in his future.

Life Skills … Amelia (14 years) was referred to the Reconnect Program by her mother in 2016, for support in dealing with communication issues, self-harm and aggressive behaviours. At first Amelia was reluctant to engage with the Reconnect Team, however soon saw the value in taking part in the Reconnect Program.

Amelia and her family began to have regular sessions with the Reconnect Practitioners, part of the support provided to Amelia involved helping her improve communication with her parents and siblings. Discussions on strategies in coping with anger and frustration were also important for Amelia.

Engaging in the Reconnect Program also gave Amelia the opportunity to revisit strategies that she had been given from other practitioners and social workers, from her school and other support services she had engaged with. The Reconnect Practitioner encouraged Amelia to recall and build upon the life and safety skills that she had previously learnt, but recently forgotten.

While the relationship between Amelia and her family is still difficult, Amelia is now attending regular sessions with a Psychologist at a private Mental Health Service and is taking responsibility for her own life. Amelia is building on her skills and working towards her independence while maintaining her current living situation with her family.

(The names of the clients in this case study have been changed so to protect the privacy of our clients)