An anonymous diary entry by one of Circle’s family support workers, who is delighted to see families making positive progress.
Names have been changed
First visit of the week is to a parent who is settling into new tenancy. Great to see how much she has done to the house already – decorated and new carpets down. Family’s own belongings have just come out of storage and are getting sorted through. Checked if I could help with getting anything to charity shops or the local tip but parent organised council bulky uplift in a couple of days. I leave feeling that it is a good start to the week. It is brilliant to see the parent settling in so quickly and her two boys settling into their new school.
My next appointment is cancelled as children are unwell and are off school and nursery.
I spend some time at the office, catching up with colleagues and general office duties.
In the afternoon, I have a home visit to another family. The parent is due to be a witness at court next week and hasn’t heard from Victim Support yet. She phoned while I was with her and left message for someone to call her back. Parent showed me a letter received today regarding overpayment of Child Tax Credits. I tried to phone to speak to someone about sorting it out, but couldn’t get through. It can get very frustrating when you can’t get through to speak to a person. I encourage the parent to try and access information online.
My first appointment is cancelled.
I spend time catching up on admin jobs including Intrelate (the database used to file information about families) and phoning other professionals for general updates. I also speak to a couple of families to arrange visits.
I attend a supervised contact session with a parent and child. We go to a local soft play, which is ideal as it allows the child to play freely while parent and I have a discussion about how the week is going for them. The parent also gets to spend quality time with her child as we have the soft play to ourselves!
I deal with telephone calls and emails first thing.
I collect a child from nursery to allow her mum to attend a group. Child and I go to park and have great fun even though it is a bit cold. Child has me running about the park after her and her two toy dogs. I collect her mum from her group and drop them both home.
In the afternoon, I have a home visit to parent and child. Parent gives me a general update on recent events that are cause for concern for the family. Together, we review this in detail and look at a plan for the next few days. After this meeting, I call the children and families duty social worker to update them on the visit, and on how I am planning on having more contact with the family as they require additional support.
I am supposed to be doing a home visit, but there is no answer. I leave a note to say I have been to the house.
I attend our Circle/Cyrenian parent and child group; three parents with their little ones attend. I keep an eye on children while parents attend a Self Management And Recovery Training (SMART) group. SMART is a science-based programme to help people manage their recovery from any type of addictive behaviour. We then all have some lunch together, have a chat and discuss plans for the upcoming Christmas party.
I return to the office for a brief catch up with colleagues and phone the addiction worker for advice regarding a parent’s recent drug use.
I have a home visit to the same family I visited yesterday to pass on information I have collected and see how the parent is today. The visit is very positive and we look at plans for the weekend. I confirm that I will visit on Monday.