For children experiencing homelessness it’s really hard to stay focused on school. That is why Vincentian House developed a special program for children and young people staying there who are going through a really tough time.

Vincentian House is a crisis accommodation and case management service in inner Sydney for families and women escaping domestic violence. The Kids Engaged in Education Program (KEEP) was designed especially for the children living there.

Research shows that early intervention is the best way to reduce the risks of longer term disadvantage and improve children’s health and wellbeing. 

KEEP takes a holistic approach: caseworkers ensure children are engaged in school, they run parenting skills programs and connect families with appropriate services.

Jane and her son Matthew saw their lives turned around after Matthew participated in KEEP. 

“My son has gained so much from being here. KEEP support was instrumental in getting my son back to school,” says Jane.

“The classes and workshops helped so much with self-esteem and confidence that we both are moving forward with education and work. It has given us time to heal.

“Our future is a much happier one – I feel I’ve regained my dignity and sense of self.”

Generous donations mean that 100 children can participate in the program each year and plans are afoot for KEEP to expand across NSW so that more families and children can benefit.

Jane and Matthew’s story is so reassuring and reinforces the importance of these programs for the long term future of the young people who pass through our doors. The impact you have on the lives of Matthew and other children is extraordinary. 

To read more from the latest edition of Impact

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