Jesuit Social Services
Understanding the Problem

Complex Problems

Sometimes the problems your child has are not easy to label or describe. They may have multiple problems, including personal and behavioural issues. Services may tell you that your child doesn't fit into their client group.

There may be no easy answers, or pathways towards sorting out the problems. It may take a lot of trial and error. Limited services or resources may exist to help you in your situation.

This can be very hard on parents, especially if your child's situation is getting worse and no one seems able to help.

In this section, we try to help you understand what you may be dealing with and where you may go to for help.

› A version of this help sheet is also available in plain English.

What are Complex Problems?

Complex Problems may include drug use, mental health problems, homelessness, criminal behaviour, sexuality issues, physical or intellectual disability, behavioural problems and child abuse. Sometimes, what makes a problem "complex" for parents, is not knowing that a behaviour or issue is occurring.
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How to Get Help

If you are dealing with a young person who has complex problems, it can be difficult to get them the help and support they need. Sometimes this is because the problem doesn't fit neatly into a service system. When you are unclear about what the problems really are, it is worth encouraging or arranging for your young person to have a suitable professional assessment.
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"I can see that Ruby has a problem with drugs but she can't. I don't understand why she always looks so sick."
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Tina's Story"My daughter has an intellectual disability, as well as some mental health symptoms, and substance use problems. When she is upset and agitated I find it stressful and confusing."

Tina's Story
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