Safia gets the support she needs

Mother and daughter

At 26 years old, Safia arrived in Australia from Afghanistan with her husband and daughter on a Humanitarian Visa. Safia’s husband has a severe physical and mental disability.

When she first arrived, Safia spoke little English and had limited digital literacy skills. She presented to SECL’s settlement services during lock-down to seek support regarding employment. Her goal was to improve her independence and quality of life for both herself and her young daughter.

Safia disclosed that she was experiencing financial and emotional abuse by multiple perpetrators. Her husband’s family were forcing her to be a full-time carer or leave the family without her daughter. Due to their circumstances, Safia’s only source of income was the husband’s family and with no work history, she was unable to secure a job.

SECL’s Employment Support Practitioner helped Safia to enrol in an English language and literacy program and together they started looking for employment opportunities.

The Employment Support Practitioner spent hours with Safia to create her a resume, and when a suitable entry level role was identified, she was supported through the work health and safety information and company induction. The Practitioner also negotiated flexible working hours with the employer so that Safia could spend time with her daughter.

Today, Safia is working towards her goal of financial independence and has secured casual employment in a chocolate factory. She is attending English language and computer classes which are helping to increase her confidence and skills. Importantly, Safia was supported to access a specialist family violence support service and is focused on securing housing for herself and her daughter. With her newfound confidence, Safia has joined a local youth group which is expanding her social and community support networks.