Good news stories from our IPS Team!

09 Dec 2020

Our Individual Placement and Support team (also known as IPS) work alongside young people accessing headspace Darwin's supports. They aim to assist young people seeking to enter or remain in education or find meaningful employment. 

Read about some of the amazing young people that we've supported below:

After completing a Diploma of Nursing, John felt nervous about starting work and unsure whether nursing was still the right career path for him. His Case Manager referred him to Shareece at headspace Darwin’s IPS service in June 2020.

Shareece worked with John to:
• set goals for both in and outside the workforce
• think about finding work in a familiar environment to build confidence and work skills
• consider taking a temporary break from studies to focus on career options
• update and edit his resume and cover letter
• complete job applications

“Choosing a career path in high school is a lot of pressure for young people, and after years of study in their chosen field they may have a change of heart. In fact, research suggests that people change jobs up to 12 times in their life! So, it’s normal to want to try different jobs as we grow up.” – Shareece

After each application submission, Shareece and John followed up with a phone call or visit to the employer so that John could introduce himself.

"Employers only look at resumes for an average of 7 seconds! Therefore, it’s important to take the time to make yours look and read perfectly. There can be over 200 applications for any one job in Darwin, so yours needs to stand out” - Shareece

After just 4 weeks of working together, John was offered his first interview! John attended the interview with prior support from Shareece and soon after received a call to say that his application had been successful! Although this role is temporary, it is a great steppingstone and a huge achievement.

Moving forward, Shareece will continue to work together with John on developing his goals, obtaining his driver’s licence and getting a permanent job.

Lucy came to the IPS team at headspace Darwin as a very capable worker in the customer service industry, with many years’ experience in the retail sector. Although highly skilled and confident in her role, Lucy was looking for something more in her daily work routine.

In June 2020, Lucy was introduced to her IPS worker, Shareece. In their initial meeting it was identified that Lucy had a true passion for supporting disadvantaged youth in the community. Having lived through her own experiences of trauma, Lucy felt she would be a good mentor for other young people going through similar life experiences.

Shareece worked with Lucy to set some life and career goals.

“Lucy was a confident communicator and empathetic listener. After contacting local employers about roles that Lucy was interested in, it became clear she would need to enhance her skills and education within the youth work space before she would be able to find work.” – Shareece

Shareece worked with Lucy to:
• find suitable study options and local education providers
• address financial and budgeting concerns
• learn conflict management skills
• engage with local employers
• attend monthly youth networking groups

“With Lucy’s new focus and motivation, I look forward to what is to come for her” - Shareece

The future is looking positive for Lucy now that she is on the right path to fulfilling her career dream of becoming a youth worker.

Sam was referred to the IPS team in June 2020, after mentioning to his Case Manager that he required vocational assistance. After graduating Year 12 in 2018, Sam picked up a few odd jobs in warehousing and customer assistance. None of these roles provided Sam with the financial security or job satisfaction he was chasing. Sam was feeling lost in terms of his career direction.

“Choosing a career path in high school is a lot of pressure for young people - even after years of study and experience in their chosen field its really common to have a change of heart. In fact, research suggests that people change jobs up to 12 times in their life! So, it’s normal to want to try lots of different jobs as we grow up” – Shareece

Shareece recommended Sam complete a survey which matches personality traits and interests to different types of work roles. The survey identified that Sam fell right in between 2 job types: social and enterprising. Using her vocational experience and initiative, Shareece combined the two job types in the hope of finding a match that would meet both needs.

After reading multiple job descriptions it was agreed that a career in ‘Community Engagement’ would be the perfect fit for Sam. His passion for helping and educating others would allow him to express the resourceful, sociable, and ambitious side of himself.

Shareece worked with Sam to:
• construct a relevant resume and cover letter
• learn ways to cope with work-related stress
• develop skills to give him a competitive edge

Shareece also supported Sam to do a police check, get his Ochre Card and enrol in First Aid and mental health training. Soon after, Shareece linked Sam up with a range of local employers and networking opportunities to increase his understanding of the industry and future employment outcomes.

Nami was referred to the IPS program in 2019, hoping to gain some support to find a part time job that would complement her uni studies and build on her independence.

When Nami was first introduced to her IPS worker she was needing to manage many conflicting issues. Not only was she battling a mental health condition, but she also had a chronic pain condition as well as family problems. This left the thought of applying for jobs with no work history feel very overwhelming.

When asked what her main goals were, Nami said she wanted “to learn how to become an adult and to do all the things they don’t teach you in school”

Together with her IPS worker, Nami unpacked all of her barriers that were preventing her from being able to work and made a plan to overcome each of these one by one.

  • Accommodation (wanted to become independent and find a place closer to uni)
  • Transport (was catching 6 busses to get to and from uni each day)
  • Health (Mental and Physical)
  • Financial

IPS supported Nami to find suitable accommodation within walking distance to the uni. This move eliminated hours of travel time which allowed Nami to change her studies and enrol in the course she really wanted to be doing. It also gave her more time in the day to look for work! 

Throughout her journey, Nami remained committed to the process of looking for work her confidence grew as she was able to speak to potential employers.

Nami successfully found employment within the retail sector and has become a crucial member of the team. Nami chose to disclose her Chronic pain conditions to her employer who is extremely supportive and accommodating.

“IPS helped me piece everything together. Getting accommodation really helped me to gain and maintain employment and IPS taught me how to approach people and difficult situations”.

When asked what advise she would give to other young people with mental health concerns wanting to work Nami said:

Try to figure out what you want and make a plan on how to get there, things can get better”

The IPS team at headspace Darwin are incredibly proud of Nami, her future is very bright she has reached her goals and is successfully adulting!