Bouchra moved to Australia from Morocco four years ago with her daughter.
After her second child was born, Bouchra was keen to work but was finding it an uphill battle. In Morocco, she had worked at a bank and held qualifications in economics. Since moving to Australia she had felt her confidence in gaining work was fading as she was still struggling to learn English, even though she had successfully completed an English course, and had gained a Certificate IV in Business Administration.
While visiting a Bankstown shopping centre, Bouchra saw a sign for ParentsNext and was curious to find out what the program was about. She entered the ParentsNext office and was greeted by a ParentsNext provider who explained that ParentsNext was a pre-employment program for parents with children under the age of six.
As a pre-employment program, ParentsNext helps parents to identify their education and employment goals and connect them to local training, child care and services in their community.
Bouchra saw straight away that ParentsNext would be a good program for her.
“After chatting to them, I immediately felt that ParentsNext understood my responsibilities as a parent. They knew what it was like to be a parent,” she said.
Later that day Bouchra signed up for ParentsNext as a volunteer participant. After hearing Bouchra’s story, her provider encouraged her to sign up for their in-house resilience workshop aimed at building parents’ confidence and connecting them to other parents in the local community.
“The workshop not only helped me build my confidence and improve my English, but it also made me consider trying a new career path in community services,” Bouchra said.
With the support of her provider, Bouchra commenced a Certificate IV in Community Services. She did really well and, seeing her potential, her provider offered her a casual position in the office supporting other ParentsNext participants.
Bouchra’s passion for the role and her great capacity to engage with other parents saw her being offered a permanent part-time position as a case manager.
“For me, the best part of ParentsNext was meeting new people and being connected to courses and free activities.
“It was also good that there was always a place for my kids to play when I attended appointments.
“I’d encourage other parents to do the ParentsNext program. It will be amazing.”