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
I meet a young person in school along with a social worker to look at the young person’s thoughts and feelings over his mum’s recent relapses. I am well known to the young person and he finds talking to the social worker difficult, so I am there to support the young person as I am a trusted adult they know. The young person finds the whole situation difficult. He talks to us about how he is feeling and his worries about what his contact with his mum will look like and how often it will be.
First visit for a three year old girl to the dentist; we do lots of talking about the dentist and what the dentist will expect of her. Mum is very nervous and I encourage her to try to not mention this to her daughter. When we arrive, she manages to sit on the chair and open her mouth. After looking at her teeth, the dentist advises to stop using a dummy as the girl’s front teeth are worn away and have a level of decay; she also has decay in some of her back teeth. The girl soon becomes upset and Mum realises that she may have caused some of the little girl’s anxiety as a result of her own anxiety. Another appointment is made for the following week; the plan is to try to paint the girl’s teeth to protect them. If that is not possible in the next appointment, the community hospital can get involved as they have a longer time slot for young children.
I make a phone call to a mum to check our planned home visit will go ahead, however she cancels as she has not slept for several days and feels she needs to sleep this morning.
I make a home visit to a mum and young child; we drop the child off at nursery and there is a tearful goodbye as she has been settled in nursery but has become a little upset recently. We then shop for Santa presents, Ho Ho Ho!!
Then I make another home visit, this time to a young person at her family home. The support for the family is coming to an end and I have asked the young person to write a letter. The letter is about the support that Circle has offered the family and the difference it has made to the whole family. She had tried to write the letter before but had not managed this herself. I take my computer and she manages to do this with a little help from her mum and me. This also allows time to reflect on our journey of support with her and her family. She is very proud of the letter.
I collect an observational student who will be with me for the day. We head straight to a group which I facilitate, the Incredible Years parenting programme. The course runs for 12/14 weeks and this is week 5. The group supports parents to strengthen their relationship with their children. It is a very positive environment for all parents. There is a mixture of backgrounds and they are amazed how they all come together and begin to support each other.
I meet a parent to go to the dietician as she has very low weight due to her use of Speed. She is given a prescription for build-up drinks and advice about eating more regularly. I drop her daughter at nursery before doing a home visit to check her boiler as she has said it is not working. The student and I try to fix the problem but the council has to be phoned; they will come later that day to fix it.
After another home visit is cancelled, I spend an afternoon in the office catching up on phone calls and answering questions from the student.
Team meeting and supervision.
I collect a mum from a recovery café where is attending a trauma group. She finds travelling by herself difficult. She is always uplifted and positive when she has made it to the group. She talks about her relationship with her children and the positive changes she would like to make. She talks positively about her future and how she would like to go on to support others in recovery.
An appointment is cancelled due to children being ill and off school. Instead, I make some phone calls, send some emails and update files.
I travel to West Lothian to visit the PSP, a joint venture between West Lothian Council and voluntary agencies. They are having a celebration of their whole family support model. There are talks from the people who have been running the PSP and families who have been supported through the programme.