Elsie is a 37-year-old mother who grew up in a small country town.

She has a range of mental health issues, including schizophrenia, paranoia, and poor impulse control, and she’s often misused substances to manage her mental health. Elsie has spent time in prison before, but she hasn’t recently been allowed to go to her parents’ house from custody: their relationship was strong, but her substance misuse meant she wasn’t welcome at home.

Elsie was recently released from prison, and this time, she’d spent her time inside rebuilding her relationship with her parents. She was welcomed home, to the family home in the town where she grew up, and where her daughter now lives with her parents.

Elsie’s Vacro caseworker supported her relationship with her parents by discussing with them some of Elsie’s barriers and what her transition back into the community from prison could involve. The case worker listened to their concerns, and helped build their understanding of what transition would involve. This involved Elsie’s entire support system in her transition plan and gave everyone a safe and open forum for talking through the role they could each play in Elsie’s return.

This move home meant Elsie could reconnect with the same health and social services she’s engaged with since she was a teenager. And it means she gets to live with her nine-year-old girl.

While Elsie was in prison, she competed a NDIS application and was approved for a support package that included support from an occupational therapist, travel allowance, and a worker to assist her with budgeting, building a routine, and engaging in activities in her community.

Doing the application before her release meant Elsie could meet with her NDIS coordinator on her second day back in the community. She had all her referrals within a week.

For the first time, Elsie was proactive in asking for help when she needed it, and she chose the treatments she wanted for her transition plan. Her parents and her daughter have all been involved and supportive, which has boosted Elsie’s confidence. Now, she wants to be a positive role model for her daughter and her adult son, who lives interstate.

Elsie’s still only a few months out of prison, and sometimes, she gets overwhelmed. But her ReConnect case worker is there to chat through problems, refocus, and continue working towards her goals.

From the prison gate to a loving home, Elsie’s motivation and drive have seen her create new opportunities for herself and connect her with the support she needs to stay on track.

We’ve changed Elsie’s name and some identifying details of her story to protect her privacy. Learn more about how our ReConnect program support people like Elsie to achieve their goals.

More information about ReConnect