A staggering 26% of homeless South Australians are less than 18 years old (1). Mental health issues and domestic and family violence remain major contributing factors.
Stacy* was just 5 years old when she was placed into our emergency care services. She was tiny, traumatised and desperately vulnerable.
As Stacy grew, the scars of her traumatic childhood became apparent. She had attachment issues, learning difficulties and self-harming behaviours.
Over the years, Baptist Care SA carers built such a level of trust with Stacy that when she turned 18 and was no longer under a guardianship, she refused to engage with any other service saying,
“The only good I ever had as a child came out of Baptist Care SA.”
Stacy transferred to our youth homelessness services where staff continued to work to promote her health and well-being. Like almost two thirds of our youth homelessness clients, when Stacy did leave our care her situation had stabilised and she was placed in sustainable housing.
Stacy is still doing well and is living proof that with time, consistency and the right care, vulnerable young people can change the direction of their lives.
*Not her real name.
(1) ABS, 2011, Census of Population and Housing: Estimating Homelessness.