A brighter future for Marie and her family

Back of lady's head
29 September 2014

Back of lady's headMarie* is a 60 year old lady who was assaulted by her daughter’s partner in 2010, causing life threatening injuries and leaving her mentally and physically traumatised. She cares for her 16 year old grandson, Jamie*, who was sexually abused at a young age and abuses Marie during flashbacks.

Since the assault, Marie has struggled to maintain their home and care for Jamie and her other grandchildren. She was referred to Services Connect because she had a range of support needs that affected the whole family and meant that she needed a range of health and human services.

Services Connect is the new model for delivering integrated human services in Victoria. It is designed to connect people with the right support, address the whole range of a person’s or family’s needs, and help people build their capabilities to improve their lives.

A Services Connect key worker began working with Marie and her family to set and achieve their own life goals, including:

  • a safe and healthy, repaired home
  • a psychiatrist to help Marie address her post-traumatic stress
  • connecting Jamie to counselling services
  • assisting Jamie to access youth allowance through Centrelink
  • connecting Jamie with workplace training.

As they have taken steps towards these goals, Marie says she feels more in control of herself and her surroundings and she is less affected by depression. Jamie is also on the path to addressing his trauma. Marie’s relationship with Jamie has also improved – he is less violent towards her, is less likely to vandalise the family home and now helps out around the house.

Without Services Connect, Marie and Jamie would have likely required emergency mental health intervention. Marie may not have been able to continue caring for her grandchildren and would have been at risk of eviction from her home.

The department has been testing the Services Connect model at nine lead sites around Victoria. The next stage of Services Connect involves the non-government sector testing, refining and developing the Services Connect model in up to eight new areas. Details of the new Services Connect Partnerships will be announced soon.

* Not their real names.

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