Sarah Crain – Key Worker

Sarah Crain’s been a SunnyKids employee for over six years. She’s seen it all and has learnt a tremendous amount about domestic and family violence during this time. Upon finishing her placement with us, she went on to become an After-Hours Relief Worker, then a Support Worker and now a Key Worker. Sarah’s a valued member of our team and we continue to be amazed by her calm nature during challenging and stressful times at the refuge.

“I often think about the person I was before SunnyKids. If you were to put that version and the current version of myself side-by-side, you wouldn’t believe we were the same person,” Sarah confesses. Over the last six years, Sarah has discovered a lot about herself, “I have discovered what my core values are, my passions, my triggers, my strengths and my weaknesses. I have grown so much as an individual, practitioner, mother and friend. I have learnt to love who I am and what I stand for”.

There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ working day at the refuge, it’s crisis driven and unpredictable work. Sarah admits she came to the realisation long ago that it’s almost impossible to have a schedule or to plan how the day will unfold. “Najidah time, that’s what we call our shifts at the refuge. The days are unpredictable and we’ve all (staff) learnt to roll with whatever comes our way on the day,” she asserts.
Over the years SunnyKids has grown dramatically and with demands for our services continuing to increase year-on-year, our Service Delivery team are constantly busy. “A highlight for me is seeing the community awareness of domestic and family violence grow. I also get to work in the most amazingly supportive team and help families at the same time,” says Sarah.

The Service Delivery team have extremely emotionally and mentally draining roles. Filling their cups at the end of each day is essential to their own well-being and health. “Sometimes it’s the simple things that fill your cup, like silence while driving home, a hot shower after a really long day and holding my son just that little bit longer,” Sarah says.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to hold someone up when they’re unable to walk on their own. Knowing I am making a difference, no matter how small, means a lot to me. Then when all else fails, there is always chocolate and tissues at the ready when we need to let it all out.”

Working in the domestic and family violence sector isn’t easy, it comes with a unique set of challenges and there’s rarely a day that doesn’t leave a lasting impact. “My advice for anyone looking to work in the DFV space is to not be afraid to use your voice and speak up for those who are still trying to find their own. This job isn’t easy. There will be times when you question everything about what you are doing. You will even find you question humanity,” Sarah says.

Sarah admits there are moments when you don’t think you’re in the right field and that it’s too hard and too difficult to manage. “Allow yourself time to sit with those difficult feelings, to feel the heartache, the anger and discomfort. You will grow not only as a practitioner, but as a person,” she says.

Sarah holds a quote by Jasmin Kaur very close to her heart, ‘Scream, so that one day a hundred years from now, another sister will not have to dry her tears wondering where in history she lost her voice’. “SunnyKids has given me the chance to be that voice for all the families we work with, it’s helped me find and grow my own voice too,” Sarah says.

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