Maria’s story

Maria is in her 50s, has two teenage children and is the partner of a prisoner. She’s on Newstart allowance and Family Tax Benefit and she rents. Most of the bills were in her partner’s name as he had always looked after the finances. When visiting her partner in prison Maria came into contact with our Family Support services staff. She told us she was feeling very stressed about her financial situation, and as her spoken language was not English, she was struggling to communicate effectively with service providers and her landlord, who was threatening eviction.

Outcare identified her immediate needs as: financial assistance to deal with outstanding bills, advocacy with the landlord and access to community services for emotional support and wellbeing. We talked to her partner about how to organise a phone call to essential service providers so Maria had authority on the accounts while he was in prison. Emergency relief was provided by Outcare to pay an urgent outstanding bill and referrals were given to a variety of community services and to a GP. Maria now has authority on essential services, is on top of her finances, has averted the possible eviction and has accessed several community services. Importantly she now feels more in control of her situation and is much less stressed and the family is more likely to remain connected when her partner is released.