An anonymous diary entry by one of Circle’s Family Support Workers, who confronts an unexpected personal challenge.
Names have been changed
This morning is the first day back in my group after the holidays. The group is for mothers and is focused on their health and wellbeing. The group gives the mothers some peer support as well as some time to themselves without the children.
Today our focus is on planning the sessions of the group from now until Easter. The group spends time discussing how things have been since they last met. The parents agree that the majority of the sessions will involve leisure activities such as going to the gym and keep-fit classes, with a planned session for therapeutic craft activities.
Each individual also spends time making a list of things they would like to achieve this year. We agree that these will be followed up by myself in individual sessions and put in with their support plans. Everyone is pleased to have come back together and there is loads of tea and chat!
On the way in to my office this morning I pick up a Community Care grant application form from the First Stop Shop. This is for Lucy who has recently been referred to Circle.
Later in the day I call out to see Lucy at her home. Lucy is a single parent and her children are currently living with their paternal grandmother. I have only met Lucy a couple of times but we agreed at the last session I would bring a Community Care grant form with me and support Lucy to fill this out.
Lucy has recently moved from temporary accommodation to her own tenancy. I spend time with Lucy discussing past events and getting to know her more. We speak about Circle support and the kind of support Lucy feels she requires. We spend time looking over the Community Care grant form, filling it out and agreeing the required items. We are both hopeful that Lucy gets the items she has asked for as this would be the first step for her in what she is hoping to achieve.
I leave feeling that Lucy and I are starting to build the positive relationship that is required when supporting families.
Today I attend the speech and language therapists’ team meeting. The speech and language therapist I work closely with asked if I could come along to their team meeting to talk about Circle and the work we do.
She advised there would be quite a few people in attendance. I attend the meeting expecting there to be maybe 15 people maximum. When I get there I realized I have tricked myself as there are a lot more… around 40! Speaking at meetings like this challenges me as I can be embarrassed, but I just take a deep breath and manage to get through it.
The people in attendance are really interested in our work and there are lots of questions. I leave feeling pleased with myself that I managed to get through the talk and hopeful that there will be some referrals come from this.
Today I have a session with Leanne. Leanne is on the road to recovery and has recently become abstinent from substances – and is keen to remain so.
We spend our session scaling where Leanne feels she is on her recovery and exploring ways she can manage to stay in the maintenance stage of recovery. I ask powerful questions to help Leanne think of why she returns to using illicit substances. We also spend time looking at the positives and negatives of using substances.
This helps Leanne recognise that isolation is always the final outcome. Leanne is happy that she has remained abstinent for 5 weeks, and speaks of the differences she can see in her home and the time she spends with the children when she is abstinent. I praised Leanne on the progress she has made and make another appointment for next week.
This morning I have a session with Sharon and her daughter Aimee. We attend soft play. This allows Aimee a chance to play whilst Sharon and I can speak about how things have been. Sharon speaks of recent events in her family and we discuss her feelings about this.
We have recently supported Sharon to access a voluntary position, helping out in a “young mothers group”. Sharon tells me she is unsure of what is happening at the group as there is a new member of staff running it and Sharon is unsure whether or not the group is aware she is helping out.
I agree that I will call the supervisor to get to the bottom of the situation. I make the phone call but cannot get in touch with her, so I tell Sharon that as soon as the supervisor gets back to me I will call her. Sharon and I discuss other issues affecting her, and I listen and support her to make decisions about these issues. We then join Aimee and spend time playing with her in the soft play.