An anonymous diary entry by one of Circle’s family support workers, who has had a busy week supporting parents and their children.
Names have been changed
On Monday morning I attend a family group decision making meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to bring the expectant parents together with their families to look at what support they can offer once the baby arrives. The family are given private time together to talk about concerns and come up with a plan which would hopefully result in the baby remaining in the care of its parents or family.
In the afternoon I meet a father-to-be at his home for an individual support session. There have been incidents of domestic abuse. At the session we discuss his abusive behaviour towards his partner, which also includes an element of controlling behaviour. I identify Safer Families Men’s Service as a service which supports men who are unhappy with some of their behaviour towards their partners and want to change. I support the dad to self-refer.
I facilitate a supervised contact between a father and his seven month old son. The father is currently undergoing an assessment in relation to possible rehabilitation and parallel planning is ongoing. We have a very positive two hour visit to the Commonwealth Pool for water activities.
In the afternoon I co-facilitate the Becoming Dad group with a worker from another family support service. During this session we cover Baby First Aid, with lots of practical and hands on learning. We also explore dealing with emergencies, such as choking, febrile seizures and severe allergic reactions.
On Wednesday morning I go to a joint home visit along with an Early Years Officer. We work through Signs of Safety with the expectant parents, who are becoming frustrated at Child Protection Procedures. We discuss and highlight what we are worried about, what is working well, what needs to happen and agree safety goals.
I accompany a father-to-be to an appointment at the Neuropsychology service at Astley Ainslie Hospital. There is an assessment ongoing to determine the impact of a brain injury he suffered and the impact upon his current functioning and parenting capacity.
I attend a training session covering Working with Non-engaging Families. This is a half-day interactive course for practitioners, who may in the course of their work encounter families who resist, evade or only superficially engage with professionals when intervention is necessary to protect vulnerable children or young people.
In the afternoon I attend a Hospital Discharge meeting held within Simpsons Maternity Unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. It is decided the baby will go into temporary Foster Care whilst a rehabilitation plan is explored, although to date both parents have evidenced little motivation to change their views and lifestyle.
This morning I support a father to attend a Dads2Be Antenatal group run by Dads Rock. The session covered practical skills, such as bathing, nappy changing and safe sleeping.
I then attend a home visit to support a father who is attempting to re-establish contact with his ten year old son. The father also has letterbox contact with his other son and we discuss the appropriate and age specific words and pictures to include in any correspondence.