Karla grew up in a stable and caring family environment, until her father unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack when she was 12 years old. After that point, her family and home environment broke down quite dramatically. Her mother spiralled into alcohol and prescription drug abuse and her home life was filled with conflict, violence and hardship.
Karla took on the responsibility for caring for her younger brother, as her mother was unable to provide the care and structure to meet her children’s needs. When Karla was 16 years old, she told friends and family that she was going on a holiday to visit her grandparents in Sydney. She had no intention of returning home.
When she arrived in Sydney, Karla was referred to Taldumande with the support of her grandparents. We arranged short-term accommodation for Karla in our Crisis Residential Program and provided her with an experienced Case Worker who helped her focus on a number of short and long-term goals. These included maintaining a stable and supportive living environment, attending school, working part-time, developing healthy relationships and dealing with grief and loss.
Karla quickly settled into the Taldumande house and thrived with the structure and support of our Case Workers. She began attending school and became proficient in living away from home. After six months, we determined that Karla was ready to move into the Taldumande Semi-Independent Housing Program.
Initially, Karla found it difficult as there was less contact from case workers in the new program. But with intensive case work and daily contact to make sure she was adhering to her routines, Karla soon began to adapt to her new living environment. Karla also began seeing a clinical psychologist, who helped Karla deal with her grief and loss, as well as the ongoing challenges she faced from her mother’s significant drug and alcohol abuse.
In 2012, Karla successfully gained her Higher School Certificate at Bradfield College and was awarded the Equity Scholarship at the International College of Management, Sydney. Karla moved into an independent unit as part of our Supported-Independent Housing Program, where she continues to reside today.
In addition to her tertiary studies, Karla works two part-time jobs at a pharmacy and an event management company. Although she is still exposed to difficult and challenging relationships, Taldumande’s support has helped her develop the strength and resilience to take ownership of her life and the confidence to pursue her dreams.