Jonathan had been a previous participant at the Broome ERA completing a Certificate 3 in Horticulture in 2013. He returned home to Mt Edgar Station, Marble Bar after a back injury which prevented him from continuing in his job as gardener at the local catholic primary school.
He requested to return this year with his brother (participant Sam Stream) but had no job or any plans for study. He wanted to find work in Broome as he had been out of work for an extended period and had no prospects on his Community Station. On returning to Broome ERA he struggled with the transition from home and an unemployed lifestyle, often taking himself off on his own avoiding connection to other participants and staff and engaging in extremes of substance use.
In the first few weeks attempts were made to complete initial Skill and Needs Assessments but his reluctance to sit, write and talk about his needs and a fear of seeming incapable meant that any formal assessments were impossible.
At Broome ERA Residential Support Staff live in the house with residents, this gave them insight and an awareness of his behaviour. They knew he was often unable to sleep at night, wandering the grounds for hours and that he was not eating regularly. Initial incidents occurred with him returning intoxicated to the premises, arguing with staff and disturbing other residents. The CFSW and residential support workers identified through observational assessments his drug, alcohol and mental health issues and developed a support plan together to address them. Their gradual “walk beside” approach and the fact that they lived with him eventually enabled him to feel safe and to open up to the help being offered.
Firm but caring enforcement of the ERA guidelines and time to connect and to feel safe and supported has reduced his binge drinking and the resulting disruptive behaviour has ceased.
The Broome CFSW assisted him to obtain initial income through Centrelink and he was offered free accommodation for the first week until this was secured. While his income remains low our variable rent charge enables him to afford to stay at the ERA.
The CFSW also helped Jonathan apply for a birth certificate that enabled him to get a proof of age card and a Learners permit. She has negotiated with his job networker to cover the costs for these and to enrol him into a ‘Work for the Dole program’. Direct assistance was given by CFSW to enable Jonathan to access Native Trust Fund to fund medical expenses for physiotherapy for his recurring back injury and initial investigations are being made for assistance to cover costs to help him stop smoking and reduce his drinking. He has also been referred to a literacy /numeracy course. Jonathan’s Manager at Kimberley Horticulture is recommending him for the next paid position that becomes vacant.
Since arriving in February he has gained in self-confidence enjoying his first job in many months, he is actively seeking to reduce his substance abuse and is engaging with other residents, laughing and more noticeably relaxed. He is seeking out support provided by ERA staff and considers MADALAH his home.See more success stories