It was through working at Horsham Uniting Early Learning that Samantha discovered her passion for supporting families doing it tough.
“We were working with a number of vulnerable families, and I was very passionate about developing the sense of trust they needed,” she says.
When families were referred to additional support services, Samantha found herself wanting to make sure they were being properly cared for.
This interest led Samantha to a career change where she made the move from educator to Integrated Family Services (IFS) Worker.
“Working in Family Services you use different strategies to build that bond and relationship with the families and help them to open up.
“Some families have gone through lots of trauma or are just dealing with everyday struggles. From intake to closure, to seeing the development of the families throughout those weeks is very rewarding.”
“I value being able to really assist them outside of childcare and working more with parents rather than just the children themselves.”
In her work Samantha found that IFS staff come from so many different backgrounds.
“Some members of the team have studied a Bachelors of Primary or Social Work, Diplomas of Community Services, and there are a couple of people who used to work in areas like IT.
“Everyone brings something interesting to the role.
“It’s great to see different people’s point of views, how they have learnt things and what they have been through.”
Formal qualifications aren’t required to be an IFS worker.
“To get this IFS role I just needed to have some transferable skills, an ability to connect with people, and a willingness to learn and develop.”
Samantha says she has received a lot of support since beginning her new role.
“My first week in the Family Services role was very guided. I wasn’t thrown into the deep end.
“I was allocated very low risk clients to begin with, which meant that I was comfortable, and protected the safety and best interests of everyone involved.”