Jackson’s bumpy road to healing was helped when he met Marie

Jackson*, a young boy, lived in six different homes before working with an Australian Childhood Foundation specialist counsellor who supported his move to a long-term foster family.  

Jackson enjoyed some of these places he lived in. However, some carers struggled with Jackson’s distress and complex emotional needs, inevitably resulting in him being moved from home to home. 

The transition from Jackson’s multiple crisis placement to long-term foster care was carefully planned and implemented with help from his specialist counsellor. The central goals were to prioritise Jackson’s sense of safety and awareness about the transition and include his views and wishes. This empowered him to have a sense of decision-making over his own life.  

Jackson’s life changed the day he moved to live with Marie*. He finally found the stability he needed to play, grow and thrive. He still lives with Marie, and it is likely he will stay there until adulthood, in a very special foster family filled with love. Jackson loves to spend every Sunday with Marie, visiting the elephants at the zoo, talking together about how the families of animals demonstrate love and care.  

They are both being supported by Jackson’s specialist counsellor to build their relationship. After many years not feeling part of a family, Jackson’s healing relies so much on feeling he is heard and held. Improving the attunement Marie has in her relationship with Jackson is a key element of our work with families at the Foundation. It supports the feelings of safety and love that will help Jackson begin to heal from his earlier experiences of neglect and abuse.

Since the involvement of the Foundation’s specialist counselling services, Jackson’s care team has helped repair the relationships with teachers and peers at school by working with both Marie and the school staff to help them understand Jackson’s behaviours are expressions of his trauma. Jackson has begun to make young friends for the first time in his life; friends that will likely grow into a very special community around Jackson. Jackson’s school timetable has been extended, and he has begun swimming lessons with other children too.

Thanks to supporters like you, Jackson has now reconnected with his mother and siblings, and he is learning how to be a part of his family of origin in a way that feels safe and happy. Jackson’s care team are a collaborative force who put him at the centre of all their decisions and plans, and above all have made great progress towards meeting his needs.

Thank you for your generous support of children like Jackson. 


*Names have been changed to protect the identities of children. Thank you for your understanding and support. If you, or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 000. For confidential support regarding family violence, call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732). To report concerns relating to a child, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.