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23 May 2024


Heather’s Journey: From Uncertainty to Empowerment with ParentsNext

Heather, a dedicated parent of two young children, was initially referred to the ParentsNext program when it was mandatory. Like many, she had reservations due to its association with Centrelink and potential financial implications. Her primary focus was on caring for her children, and she wasn’t ready to dive into job searching. However, her first appointment at ParentsNext was a pleasant surprise, with a welcoming and understanding atmosphere.


At her own pace

ParentsNext allowed Heather to engage with the program at her own pace, without immediate pressure to pursue employment. This flexibility was crucial as she navigated significant life challenges, including the end of her relationship. Throughout these difficult times, Heather received unwavering support from her ParentsNext facilitator during routine check-ins.


Heather Young, participant of SSI ParentsNext program, smiling alongside her two children.

Finding employment

When Heather realised it was time to find employment, she turned to her facilitator for guidance. Despite uncertainties about her career direction and skills, she received invaluable assistance, including job leads, resume help, and mock interviews. This support led her to a fulfilling role as a disability support worker. Although health issues eventually forced her to leave that position, Heather persevered. She independently secured a retail job but remained determined to achieve more.

Heather continued her job search and found an administrative role within the ParentsNext program with SSI. With her facilitator’s guidance, she successfully navigated the application process and transitioned to full-time employment. For over 12 months now, Heather has been an Admin Intake Officer, managing intake processes, coordinating appointments, and supporting clients accessing services.


Overcoming barriers

Heather has overcome numerous barriers, including a lack of work experience, financial strain, stigma fears, single parenthood, and health issues. Her current role has boosted her financial stability and confidence and allowed her to connect with other parents, offering them hope and support.


Building a bright future

Heather loves connecting with clients and empathising with their journeys. She encourages those doubting themselves, saying, “I was you and have been in your position. You can do anything.”

Heather aims to become a facilitator and continue building her career. She also achieved a personal goal of buying her dad a car, highlighting how her career has positively impacted her family’s life.

Heather’s story exemplifies the resilience and capabilities of parents in the ParentsNext program. Her journey is a testament to the program’s commitment to supporting parents through their unique challenges and toward their future goals.



If you know someone who could benefit from ParentsNext, please refer them today and help them embark on their journey to a brighter future!

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