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Achieving greatness against all odds

A tale of resilience from the young people we serve - Anna Ellis EET Manager

Achieving greatness against all odds

COVID 19 has truly changed the world. It has changed so much of our daily lives, it has changed how we relate to one another, how we learn, how we teach and how we provide vital services to some of our community’s most vulnerable children and young people. It has been a challenge to navigate a new normal and continue to ensure the children we serve receive the very best opportunities available to them.

My role at Parkerville Children and Youth Care is to manage our wonderful Education, Employment, and Training (EET) programme. The EET Programme is a unique programme that aims to prepare young people aged 14 to 16, who are at risk of failing school, for the world of work. Our goal is to teach programme participants basic work skills and encourage them to develop a solid work ethic. The programme is registered with the Department of Education and Training and caters for young people who have been excluded from school, received multiple suspensions, are chronic truants or school refusers.

When the restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak were put in place forbidding face to face schooling and contact, we braced ourselves for a very challenging period for our kids. The challenges for our young people in the programme who already struggle with education were already so great and COVID was yet another obstacle for them to cross.

We know from experience that the young people who join us in this programme are capable of wonderful outcomes, gaining skills that help them to thrive as they enter adulthood. What we didn’t know was exactly how they would react to the unprecedented disruption that COVID-19 had caused, but we were so pleasantly surprised.

Camp Corona COVID-19

by Tony Hansen

Camp Corona COVID-19

Whatever you call it, due to the impact of the virus, life as we once knew it has changed, probably forever. Children have watched as adults nervously await the daily updates from Premier Mark McGowan; What restrictions will we get today? When do you think I can go back to work? I wonder if I'll still have my job?, they don't see their friends as much anymore, and for a while they didn't have to go to school, an answer from heaven for some, and for others another cruel blow dealt by this loathsome virus. The resilience of children should never be undermined, when reflecting on the strength of the children in our care one of our Co-Directors here at Parky said,

'I find it sobering to think that, while so many of us are losing our heads in the mass panic and hysteria of this global ‘crisis’, for so many of the Children and Young People in our care, this is their normal or even a stroll in the park compared to the real adversity they have faced in their young innocent lives.' - Johnny Rylatt Co-Director OOHC

Pretty powerful stuff when you consider some of these children haven't even hit high school.

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