17 March 2016
World Social Work Day – Robyn’s Story
Thursday, 17 March 2016 marks World Social Work Day– a day to acknowledge the tireless efforts of the many AMAZING social workers all around the globe. Mrs Robyn Young is a Case Manager at Home Caring Australia and recently supported Karina, a Youngcare Home Soon Grants recipient to make the move back into her community, out of aged care.
Back in 1983 when I started working in the aged care industry, there were very few services and support available for people living with a disability and their carers. This was especially evident when it came to independent living or group housing. The funding just wasn’t there.
The experience that I gained working with the elderly opened the door to see the journey of their lives. They had travelled, they had children, they had grandchildren – they had lived! Seeing the young people with a disability in these aged care homes flicked a switch in me – I wanted to work with these people to help them achieve their goals, to have choice and to live a truly rewarding life.
People often tell me, ‘Robyn, your greatest gift is your ability to communicate’, so I have always looked to use my skills to help other people. Working as a Case Manager allows me to use my voice to help young people with a disability find their independence.
I love to work as a team with young people and their families to help reach their goals. I named Karina’s case ‘Team Karina’ because it was entirely a team effort over the 18 months between myself, Karina’s family, ADHC, YPIRAC [Younger People in Residential Aged Care], BaptistCare and Youngcare. Along the journey working with Karina we developed this lovely support network that enabled her to move out of residential aged care and into her new home where she can live independently.
The process often takes a long time, and a lot of determination on all sides to lobby and fight to get the best outcome for the person and their family. Moving forward, with self-managed funding and the NDIS, more and more young people with a disability will be able to live the lives they want to – and have the choice and independence they deserve. Now each person will have the opportunity to choose where their funding goes.
The key is to never give up, never stop trying, never stop fighting – there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Karina’s story shows people that there is a way out. It’s easy to get exhausted from the system and to think that you have lost the fight, that you can’t do it anymore. To me, there is always an opportunity or a case worker out there that can help you to achieve your goals.
I love my job. I wake up every day and I’m excited to go to work and I look forward to the opportunities that we can share together as a team to help people with a disability live their lives the way they want to.