An anonymous diary by one of Circle’s part-time Family Support Workers, who is dealing with a lot of Child Protection issues in her working week.
This morning I have arranged to see a young mother and her toddler for a play session. The child is currently on the Child Protection (CP) Register and is staying with his grandparents while his mother addresses her chaotic lifestyle and substance misuse.
Unfortunately, the mother is not at home and the grandmother says she hasn’t seen her for the last few days. The grandmother says that she is struggling financially and the little boy needs bigger shoes and nappies, so I speak to her social worker and arrange that I take the child for new shoes and some other essentials. This goes well and we pop into the pet store next door to the shoe shop, and the little boy enjoys seeing the animals and getting to pet guinea pigs and rabbits. I return him to his grandmother and arrange to see the family at the CP Review on Friday.
I then visit a family at home who are in the process of having their children returned to their care. The younger children are at home and both the mother and father are doing art and crafts activities with them.
We talk over the upcoming Looked After & Accommodated Review and also arrange that I will get a bunk bed for the older children from a colleague who is giving it away. I have a one-to-one chat with the mother about her engagement with addiction services, which was rather inconsistent, but she now appears to be engaging fully again. Her addiction worker has now advised that the mother is keeping appointments.
In the afternoon I take a baby and his parents to a developmental check at the hospital, which goes well. The baby is living with his grandmother and is on the CP Register. The mother and father are seeing the baby every day but are struggling to maintain a stable lifestyle, so I am supporting them to engage with counselling and addiction services.
This morning I collect a father and his two young children after nursery and we go to a paediatric appointment for his little girl who has lost weight and is not eating well. She is given supplements and has been referred to a dietician. We go to a park afterwards that has a little farm which the family enjoy, and the father takes lots of photos of their visit.
In the afternoon I collect two sisters from school and we go to a local soft play for an hour which the girls enjoy. We then we go to their home and I support the mother in assisting the older child with her homework, which has become a bit of an issue in the house. The mother asserts herself well and the child responds positively.
It is the day of the CP Review for the toddler who I was out with on Wednesday. The mother attends but is rather agitated and struggles to manage to cope with the meeting. She had been involved in an incident the night before and had ended up in hospital with an injury, as a result of being under the influence. After other concerns were raised, the outcome of the meeting is that contact between the mother and child will be supervised by the child’s grandmother and he will remain with his grandmother for the time being.
The mother is very upset about this and I speak at length with her; we agree that I will support her in her contact with her son. We liaise with her Housing Support Worker and her Community Psychiatric Nurse as to how best to support her at this time. I spend the rest of the afternoon doing my case notes and write an update for an upcoming CP Review that I won’t be able to attend.