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The SunnyKids Kids - April 2013
Thursday, March 28, 2013

As you know, our aim is for all kids to have the opportunity to reach their full potential.  With your help, kids like Jason, Julie and Sam all over the Sunshine Coast are well on their way to achieving their goals.  Thank you! Jason is an 8 year old boy just trying to make it through the day at school. But his issues are tougher than most.  He's being bullied at school because he's a bit slower in class that some others.  What they don't know though is that he can't do any of his homework because his Dad lost his job and the family is now living in their car.  Clearly with all the instability at home and the bullying at school, Jason is having a rough time. Luckily, his teacher noticed and referred him to the SKIS (SunnyKids in Schools) Program.  We were quick to determine the issues of employment and housing were the cause of Jason's disengagement at school. The support worker helped the family with temporary and then permanent housing whilst referring the family to an organisation who could help with benefits while Dad was looking for work.  Within 4 weeks with the help of SKIS, Jason is now back on track for a happy healthy future. Julie is only 5 but the Principle of her school noticed that she wasn't thriving.  School lunches were inadequate and she had rarely had breakfast on arriving at school.  Nobody knew that Julie and her Mum were homeless and 'couch surfing' through all their friends houses - night after night a different home. This meant an early rise every morning to pack up and move to the next house, so there was not time for breakky or to pack a good lunch.  The SKIS program engaged with Julie's Mum to get them some emergency accommodation. From there a quick trip to the Department of Housing proved successful and a new unit was found within a few weeks. Julie is now joining in more with the other kids at school and has found a new energy, she never had before. Sam was an angry 9 year old boy when he was referred to the SKIS program. A general disinterest and negative attitude had been noticed by his teachers. They were quick to get together and discuss how they could support Sam. Attention-seeking behaviour soon turned into complete distraction and disregard for authority which was unusual behaviour for him, so they knew something serious was wrong. It's taken 3 months of full on counselling for this family and Sam to show some improvement but finally they are all working together to sort through underlying issues.  It will take another few months before the family is able to cope independently again. However, they have now built a support network around themselves which can be relied on in challenging times, should they need it again.  

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