Cowra mother, Kathryn Williams, knows first-hand the value of ParentsNext, an Australian Government program provided by VERTO to help parents with young children plan and prepare for their future employment or study. 

The Central West based ParentsNext participant and now mentor described the program as life-changing, using the skills she learnt through the program as a steppingstone to her current position in the Employment Services team at VERTO.

“Before I was referred to ParentsNext I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do, I felt lost and lived day-by-day raising my kids,” Ms Williams said.

“I lacked confidence, self-worth and had no motivation. After finding out what the program was and getting involved, ParentsNext gave me the drive to want to do something with my life. I wanted to show my kids how important it is to work and to challenge yourself.”

ParentsNext mentor, Kate Saville, helped Kathryn enrol in a Certificate IV in Property Services Real Estate, even assisting her to access Smart and Skilled funding to ensure there were no study costs involved.

“I enrolled in the course, and really enjoyed the units. I found my quarterly appointments with Kate to be really beneficial, it helped give me the determination to get through my units,” Kathryn said.

“While I was studying, the job for a ParentsNext mentor came up, and because I was really passionate about the program and the benefits it had provided me, I thought it was worth applying for, and the rest is history.”

Kathryn finds the ParentsNext role very satisfying, helping mothers of all ages on the path to employment or further study.

“I enjoy getting to know my participants, finding out what they want to do or what direction they want to take and helping them get there,” she said.

“I have no doubt that having been in a similar position to many of my clients gives me a strong understanding of how to best assist them.”

VERTO CEO, Ron Maxwell, said: “Kathryn has been a strong addition to the ParentsNext team. She is personable, approachable, friendly and her path to the role really helps her resonate with clients.

“Re-entering the workforce as a parent of young children can be very challenging. But with the right support from Kathryn or one of VERTO’s ParentsNext team, it doesn’t need to be.”

For more information about how VERTO can help you through the ParentsNext program, visit www.verto.org.au or phone 1300 4 VERTO.