An anonymous diary entry by one of Circle’s family outreach workers, who has had a busy week supporting parents and their children.
Names have been changed
I work part-time (18 hours per week) so my diary is from Tuesday to Thursday.
My morning starts with taking Julie to meet a childminder we have sourced for her. In order to get a childminder for our families, we put a form into the council and explain why we need it for the family. We then attend a meeting within a Family Centre and put our case forward to the panel and they then decide what the best form of support for the family would be. They thought a childminder for Julie’s daughter would be suitable, so that Julie would be able to go to a group that we are running on Wednesdays called ‘Living Life to the Full.’ We visit the childminder’s home so that Julie can see where her daughter will be going. All the forms are completed and Julie is really pleased with the childminder as she says it is a lovely house and her daughter played really well with the other children. The childminder will now come and collect Julie’s daughter for her, which allows her to be in plenty of time for her group.
I meet a new support worker within one of the local primary schools so we can partnership work with parents in the local area. We discuss what our remits are and she shows me around the school. She discusses what they are hoping to do within the school to support families and where we could work together with families.
I then do a home visit to meet a new family. Introductions are made and I explain what our role is and they explain how they would like to move forward in their recovery. We fill in the appropriate forms and the family is very glad we are going to help support them. Another appointment is made for next week to meet the children.
Pick up Jane to go and attend an introduction to the Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) course that she is looking to start in at a local Family Centre. From there we pick up Jane’s sister as there is a Core group meeting for the family within the Health Centre. This is always stressful for the family when discussing issues surrounding them. Unfortunately, Jane’s daughter has been placed with her Aunt at the moment as Jane is really struggling with issues that are surrounding her at the moment. From there, we pick up Jane’s daughter from nursery and go to the local council building as she is required to hand in forms to them which we had completed together.
I have arranged to go to Almond Valley Heritage Centre with a family this afternoon. We have been working on a ‘star chart’ with a young five year old boy which focuses on getting dressed and ‘helping Mummy.’ We had agreed with him that if he tried really hard and got some stars on his chart then we could do something really nice to celebrate his achievements. I hardly get in the door and he comes running out to show me how well he has done on his star chart. His Mum praises him and says he has been trying very hard. He looks so pleased with himself. I had asked previously where he would like to go and he chose the Heritage Centre.
Off we go and we have a lovely afternoon with him and his Mum, something that his Mum struggles to do on her own. They interact well and we make it along to the animal handling session, as well as making a bird feeder. What a lovely afternoon they have and Ben assures me he is going to have lots more stars on his chart when I go back on my next visit.
I have arranged to pick Susan up from The Ritson Hospital. She has been an in-patient for two weeks now as she became quite unwell when doing her detox. As she is feeling better now, we go straight from there to her medical for her Personal Independence Payments which I have supported her to apply for, as well as with filling in the forms. This is really hard for her, but she wants to get it done so she can get home to her children as she has only seen them a few times whilst in hospital. We return to her house where the children are home from school and are so excited to see her.
I am supporting Fiona in trying to open a bank account, as benefits have said that they will not be using Post Office accounts in the long term. It has been really challenging for Fiona as she has no photo ID which makes it more difficult to get the documents the bank needs. We go to the Job Centre where we eventually get proof of ID. I also have to provide proof of Fiona’s address as well as trying to find bills that she is allowed to use. Fiona really struggles with forms so I help in the bank to fill these in, as she panics about writing and providing the proper information. This is our third attempt of opening a bank account but we finally succeed!
I return to the office to record my week’s cases on our database.