The Infants’ Home is privileged to work with children and families seeking to build more positive futures for themselves. Change is always possible. It happens by focusing on what we and others CAN do rather than what we can’t do.
This strengths-based approach is at the core of all our work.
From 1874 until now, thousands of women, children and families have been able to build new lives with support from The Infants’ Home.
This collection of personal stories shows that people are experts in their own lives. They reveal how we can continue to build stronger children, stronger families and stronger communities.
Arianna (Ari) was born with medical and developmental concerns, and spent her first seven weeks of life in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Following extensive testing, doctors suspected Sotos syndrome: a rare genetic disorder affecting 1 in 14,000 people, characterised by distinctive facial features, overgrowth in childhood, and learning and physical developmental delays. Despite these challenges, Ari has shown remarkable resilience, and her family are full of hope for her future.
Jacinta and her parents are truly inspirational. They have taken the challenge they have been dealt and, realising they cannot change it, they have changed the way they and others think about it.
Sam, now aged six, was born with Down Syndrome. His special needs required medical support in many ways. He was placed in the NICU for six weeks, tube fed for the first six months of his life, had open heart surgery at five months old, and survived Leukaemia and Osteomyelitis at 18 months old. To say he’s had a bumpy start to life would be an understatement.
When Julia first came to The Infants’ Home with her children Bella, four, and Amy two, her family had very complex support needs. With the support of scholarship funding, art and play therapy and transport scholarships, Julia and her family were able to build a better future for themselves.
Emmarisa was born prematurely, leaving her with significant health issues which continue to challenge her development. When Sunisa sees how happy and engaged Emmarisa has become, she feels almost as though she has a “new baby girl”.
Born prematurely at just 26 weeks gestation, Angus has significant health care needs as well as a global developmental delay. Angus’s parents Sophie and Tim wanted Angus to have his additional needs met in a mainstream childcare setting where he would be genuinely included and could learn, grow and make friends just like any other child.
Harry, who has profound developmental delays, and The Infants’ Home’s educator Mel first met when she became his focus teacher in Gorton House. Initially Mel was apprehensive; she had not cared for a child with special needs before, and Harry seemed so fragile. She quickly came to realise that Harry was just like any other child coming into the centre – she just needed to get to know him and understand his strengths, needs and interests so that she could help him to develop and learn.
Starting out at ‘big school’ can be an exciting but daunting prospect for all children, especially those with a disability. Katie’s three year journey at The Infants’ Home, saw her gain the confidence and independence to make this transition with ease.
How a shy little girl with Down Syndrome learned to fend for herself, make friends and find her place in the world.
It was always possible for this stressed young mother to find a way through the fog. She just needed some guidance and self-belief.
Some stories are best told by people in their own words. Having made it through a tough period in Sydney, this young family is off to build a new life in rural Victoria.
There is not one, but two people still alive who can trace their association with The Infants' Home back more than 87 years. This is their story.
In her own words, a mother explains her gratitude for the support she received from The Infants’ Home during her darkest hour.
As a single father, Brad found that his son Zane was socially withdrawn and having trouble communicating. After some assessments and hard work with The Infants' Home staff, Zane is now off to a flying start.
This letter, written by Janet Cooksey, mother of then 2 year old Emily was shared with staff at The Infants' Home Staff Training Day in October 2005
Juggling work and children is always a challenge, more so when the child is your grandson. This is the story of how one grandmother found the support she needed to give one little boy a better start in life.
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