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With support from Gateway Community Health's Positive parenting program, an Aboriginal father, Samuel* is getting his life back on track.
A former heroin addict who had lived on the streets in Melbourne, Samuel had no contact with his two young children. His son and daughter were placed in kinship care with their aunt after their mother died. Determined to reunite with his children, he moved to Wodonga to be closer to family support and contacted Gateway Community Health, a local organisation supported by the Australian Government.
Samuel was linked with a parenting educator to start the Positive parenting program to help build on his current parenting skills and knowledge. He attended weekly appointments to work through the program at a slow and steady pace. Having a low literacy level, as he only attended school until year 8, he was still able to achieve success through verbal delivery of the program.
After completing the parenting course Samuel went to court to gain custody of both of his children. His son was returned to his care on a nine month order with instructions to continue with the parent support team. His son has settled in well and is thriving at his new school. Custody of Samuel's daughter is still being contested.
Samuel has now been referred to Gateway's Aboriginal case management service for longer term support for himself and his family.
*Name changed to protect client's privacy