Our clients are children and young people who are at risk of, or are currently experiencing homelessness. Often our clients have been exposed to a range of adverse experiences, such as domestic violence, abuse, neglect, exposure to drugs and alcohol, and difficulty maintaining relationships, and linkages with school, education, employment and the community.
The main presentation at Lillian’s is related to complex trauma. Psychological trauma in early childhood can have a tremendous negative impact as it can distort the infant, toddler or young child’s social, emotional, neurological, physical and sensory development. This is especially true of young children who have experienced multiple and/or chronic, adverse interpersonal traumatic events through the child’s care giving system. Experts in the traumatic stress field such as J. Briere, J. Spinazzola, and B. van der Kolk have developed the term “complex trauma” to identify this form of trauma.
This complex trauma impacts on the behaviour, relationships, cognition and developmental pathways of the young women in Lillian’s care. Since its inception, Lillian’s commitment to caring appropriately for the young women has always involved 24/7 onsite care. This commitment has now extended to young women who may be living in alternative accommodation settings (including transitional or independent housing), but still require additional supports to address their needs, and help to link them in with other services and supports in the local community.
Lillian’s accommodation service provides care and accommodation for up to 8 young women onsite, with further accommodation provided through a partnership with Metro Community Housing, which accommodates another 4 young women when they have shown capacity and the ability to live independently.
Lillians also provides an Outreach Program with referrals provided by other non-government agencies, and NSW Department of Family And Community Services (FACS) for young women who are at risk of significant harm, or at risk of homelessness. We work closely with schools, school counselors, pastoral support workers / welfare workers to put appropriate multi-disciplinary supports in place for the young women.
Lillians provides workshops in schools, promoting awareness about the causes of homelessness, and providing information about services available for young women and families to reduce homelessness.
Altogether, we provide up to 80 young women with Therapeutic Case Management services, including low, medium and high effort services, across early intervention, medium-term support, and provide ongoing Case Management to service users with more complex needs.