LIKE most working mums - Leeton's Kellie Thurgate weeks are a juggling act, but in her job, it's more than that.
According to a NSW government report in 2016-17, more than 5462 young people aged 15 to 24 were living in unstable housing and needed specialist homelessness services.
By June this year one in three of these young people will move to stable housing after using specialist homelessness services.
Ms Thurgate is a Kids Out West employee who is helping make that happen after choosing to study a Diploma of Community Services with TAFE Digital to gain formal qualifications in her quest to help youth.
While studying online, Ms Thurgate also worked on average 100 hours per fortnight, completed bookwork for her husband's business, as well as being a mother, grandmother and running a household.
While it sounds exhausting, Ms Thurgate's work with Kids Out West is the passion that keeps her moving forward.
“I have wanted to do this course for many years and after gaining employment with Kids Out West three years ago," she said.
Ms Thurgate is a youth worker who provides support services to children and young people in Out of Home Care or who are involved in family legal matters in NSW.
“My work environment may differ from shift-to-shift as we are a non-placement service and I travel tens of thousands of kilometres per year," she said.
"The work is challenging at times and definitely not for the faint-hearted - there are tears and frustration, but also much laughter."
While there are many tough days, Ms Thurgate said there were special times as well.
“Three clients will always have a place in my heart," she said.
“These children came into our care broken after experiencing significant trauma in their young lives.
"We worked closely with them using the trauma and informed care model to help build trust by providing stability and a safe environment for the healing process to begin.
"All three of these children have flourished and were successful in finding permanent placement with loving families.
"Looking forward, I would like to continue my studies in mental health or corrective services as I am passionate about helping local people."
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