“The voice for children that don’t have a voice”, is how Kris describes his role as an Intensive Family Support (IFS) Worker at Uniting.
When vulnerable youth are getting lost in the system, be that at home or school, they need a little extra support.
“We come in to help. Not just directly with the children, but with the whole family”, says Kris.
Before Uniting, Kris had a history of working in retail and insurance brokering.
“I loved the office side of it, but I wasn’t getting any social interaction.”
So, he moved into working in Employment Services, which was the right blend of office and interaction with clients. He found this experience of helping youth find work to be particularly rewarding.
“I found it really easy to engage with them. That ability to connect could be because of my background. I’m quite a goofy Dad at home, so that comes through a little bit.”
It was through this work that Kris realised Community Services was his true calling.
“All you need to be an IFS Worker are social interaction and basic office skills, as well as knowledge of how families work and to be culturally sensitive and open minded.”
“My wife works at Uniting, so I knew it was a good place to work, and there were so many opportunities.”
Being a typically female dominated role Kris found his male perspective really helped him connect with some of the clients.
“I am finding my strengths are with first time Dads that are now single Dads, or those that don’t have anyone to talk to because they are either too scared or ashamed to ask for help. But if you can speak to them as a guy who’s been through something similar, it breaks down that barrier quite quickly.
“Young males in particular don’t tend to want to open up to complete strangers.
“Sometimes they just need a male.”
Since starting his role Kris hasn’t looked back.
“It’s a great environment to work in. I feel like I’ve found my forever workplace.
It’s the first time I have ever felt passionate about coming to work and wanting to do better and getting out there to help the local community that I live in.”