Stephen is a young Aboriginal man who recently turned 18 years old. He has endured significant complex trauma from an early age and was diagnosed with anxiety and ADHD. Stephen had a lot of trouble regulating his emotions and would often engage in risky behaviours, which included lighting fires, property damage and assaultive behaviours towards peers and carers.
Stephen has had numerous placements over the years in foster care, residential care, family and kinship placements, all of which have been unsuccessful and broken down. He moved into a semi-independent placement in 2019 and struggled with the lack of constant guidance and supervision. Stephen was refusing to take his medication and would engage in drug and alcohol use, among other risky behaviours. He was moved out of this placement, into a residential house, and told to prove himself in five months, before he turned 18, in order to be reconsidered for a semi-independent placement. At this time, his future prospects were looking bleak.
Stephen worked really hard on his independent living skills, including cooking and cleaning, attending appointments and being respectful towards others. He has earned a second chance, moving into the PIF house in Toongabbie, and has been excelling. He became involved in the Australian Defence Force Indigenous Pre-recruitment Program, a mentoring project that provides a gateway into the ADF. Stephen has big goals to join the military police/Australian Army in the near future. He is also attending Ladder, an eight-week day program focusing on employment and building life skills, which he thoroughly enjoys. Since moving into PIF House Toongabbie, Stephen has been actively involved in employment and building on his independent living skills. He has not been involved in any alcohol or other drug use. The six-bedroom PIF House has given Stephen a second chance and has provided him with the stability to make leaps and bounds into independence.