8 March 2024

Growing Taller just the beginning

When Casey (not her real name) approached PSO about enrolling her daughter on the Growing Taller programme, little did she know that her journey with PSO was just beginning.

Mother of four children, Casey was trying hard to cope with other challenges and was reluctant to ask for help for fear of being seen to be asking for too much. It was, however, while she was talking to now former PSO Groups Coordinator, Maddie, that Casey opened up about her family’s struggles.

Casey’s husband was unable to work due to an accident, but ACC were no longer supporting him, so the family were really struggling with everyday costs.

Breaking down in tears, Casey asked if it would be possible to get a food parcel. Their situation was complicated by unsuccessful attempts to get the necessary support from the Ministry of Social Development, and Casey was at breaking point.

“Maddie was amazing, she found someone to watch my daughter while she sorted us with a food parcel and then she connected me to Michael and Sarah who helped me work through a budget and access the DCC electricity fund.”

Michael Wilson-Allan is a financial mentor and Sarah Davis is a social worker and their efforts have been life changing for Casey and her whānau.

“I was ready to get back into the workforce as my youngest child had just started school so Sarah helped connect me with an MSD case worker so that I could gain some training before looking for a job.”

Casey now feels far more positive about the future. With the intervention of PSO through their wrap-around support services, she’s receiving training and formal qualifications and her employment prospects are much brighter.

“The help and support we received from PSO was beyond amazing and we couldn’t be more grateful for what they have done for us.”

Seeking to understand the needs of Casey, PSO were able to offer more assistance and support.

* stock image used to protect privacy

Growing Taller is a fun, activity-based group programme for children aged 7-11. It provides a place for children to share and learn skills in a supportive, safe, peer environment where they have the opportunity to change the way they see themselves, increase their self-esteem, and learn to identify, express and manage their emotions.


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