Bev* and Darren* were in their 60s when they were suddenly asked to raise their five-year-old granddaughter, Lucy*, who was removed from her mother after a lifetime of neglect. Bev and Darren’s retirement plans instantly went out the window.

Not surprisingly given the trauma she’d experienced, Lucy’s behaviour and emotions were extremely erratic and her development was significantly delayed. She screamed rather than spoke, refused to sleep alone, and was a risk to the other children at her school.

Lucy’s teachers didn’t understand her and thought she was just a troublemaker. Her school reduced her hours to just two mornings a week, limiting her ability to learn and grow.

Frantic and desperate for help, Bev and Darren reached out to Mission Australia’s Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program. Then things started to change.

Over the past 12 months, Lucy’s Mission Australia case manager Kim has worked hard to create a network of care around Lucy by engaging her school, a counsellor and other services. Finally, she’s receiving the professional attention that’s so vital to her healthy development. There’s now a shared understanding of her needs and a commitment to providing a nurturing environment for the whole family.

“It’s been such a relief,” says Bev. “Lucy doesn’t scream anymore and has started sleeping in her own bed. She’s at school four days a week and is even beginning to make friends.”

Today, Lucy is happier and healthier than she’s ever been. At last, she has a future filled with opportunities that she’s always deserved, but until now seemed out of reach.

Donations from generous people like you contribute to Lucy’s ongoing case management, helping to heal the damage caused by past abuse, and giving her the best chance of developing in line with her peers.

Sadly, Lucy’s story is far from unique. More than 47,500 Australian children are victims of substantiated abuse or neglect each year.1

Together we can create safe and nurturing environments where children get the love and care they need to thrive.

1 AIHW (2020) Child protection Australia 2018-19.
*Names and images have been changed to protect the identities of the people we helped.

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