This week we meet Kylie, one of our Child and Family Practitioners who helps empower families in her community by offering targeted support and early intervention. Although she only stepped into the role earlier this year, Kylie has been with The Benevolent Society for five years and has worked with kids for a total of 26.
“I was drawn to the early childhood sector when I was younger through a passion for working with children, and inspiration drawn from my mum who was a teacher’s aide when I was at primary school,” says Kylie. ”I found my place in early childhood and really enjoyed the difference I could make.”
From Teacher to Practitioner
Looking for a way to further widen her impact, Kylie then turned her focus towards specialised family support services. And with a wealth of experience as a kindergarten teacher already under her belt, she says the transition to child and family practitioner was a natural one.
“As my skills with families grew, I could see that there was a space working with the whole family unit that really had potential to increase outcomes for everyone. It wasn’t an easy decision to leave my kindergarten role, but I was heavily supported by my work peers, and this helped.”
Kylie said that her family and colleagues at The Benevolent Society also encouraged her to pursue a Bachelor of Child and Family Studies while she was working, which gave her the opportunity to extend her knowledge and build her confidence.
“The organisation as a whole was so wonderfully supportive and accommodating. My managers gave me time off to study, supported me on placement, were happy to discuss my assessments and provided me with a lot of encouragement. Both of my team leaders were just exceptional and the support from my co-worker, Janene, was instrumental in this achievement also – she was the one who pushed me hard enough to enrol in the first place!”
All of Kylie’s hard work over the degree’s three-year duration paid off – she graduated with a teacher-nominated outstanding achievement award. Her lecturer, Dr Marilyn Casley, remarked that she was both an exceptional scholar and practitioner.
“During her studies she has demonstrated a willingness to think deeply about her practice with children. She was also an important member of her student cohort. She had a particular skill at providing examples of practice linked to theoretical knowledge that her peers found to be supportive in helping them learn. Kylie always pushed to consider how children would benefit from innovation in practices. She has achieved a GPA of over 6. Her thirst for knowledge and her clarity of expression make her an outstanding student." - Dr Marilyn Casley, Griffith University.
Kylie says the degree gave her an extra confidence boost to implement the tools and techniques that she knows help families thrive, as they are the reason she does her job in the first place.
“The most rewarding aspect of my role is seeing the families smile through adversity with my support," says Kylie. "When I hear them change their perspectives on who they are as a family, parent or child through conversation and actions, and witness them feeling empowered and making positive changes, I know our work has assisted in making them a more fulfilled and positive future.”
To find out more about our services in Family & Parenting Support please call us at 1800 236 762 or visit our page here.