An anonymous diary entry by one of Circle’s Family Support Workers, who supported two woman in the preparation of speeches for a conference.
Names have been changed
Home visit to a mother who has been really struggling with her alcohol issues and poor mental health. She had left the children with her Aunt, had turned off her phone and left the family home. This had gone on for a few days. Social work department called a meeting when Mum returned and I attended this with her. Social work suggested the children remained with Aunt until Mum had time to seek out the supports around her and Aunt was willing to keep the children for her. They suggested a time of two weeks to let her get the support.
After a week I meet up again with Mum and she is desperate to get the children back home and is very tearful when I meet with her. We decide to go to the social work department to meet with the social worker. Based on our meeting, the decision was made to let the children go home. Mum was so excited and was crying with joy. She couldn’t wait for the school to finish and let the children know. It’s the start of a journey and we discuss a Circle of Care plan for her, and agree to meet up soon to discuss this further.
In the morning I transport a parent to a meeting with the key worker from Action: Lone Parents (ALP) to help compile her CV and look for work. She is really interested in getting employment and also has a meeting with the finance person within ALP to do a “better off in work” calculation and also a “maximise of benefits” calculation. She found this very interesting as a lot of people think that they will not receive any help if they go back to work. However, this calculation showed her that this is not the case.
In the afternoon I meet with Kerry and Ann, who on being invited to speak at a seminar on Thursday about the services they had used, needed some help in writing up their personal stories. They are both feeling quite nervous about this, as they have never spoken publically before. However, they are also excited! We typed up their stories and they practise reading them to each other.
Support a mother to move out of her house as she was being moved to temporary housing and only had a day to get it done. We had to pack up what we could as some belongings were going into storage. This is really stressful for Mum as she is also getting moved to an area she isn’t familiar with. We make an appointment with housing department to discuss her anxieties.
Collect Kerry and Ann for the seminar in Glasgow. Kerry had had some issues to deal with the previous evening and isn’t sure if she is ready to take part. After some support we set off and arrive at the seminar. Excited and nervous, we go in to find our Circle manager. We find the room, look in and EEEEEKKK, Kerry says it is really busy! Remaining positive, we sneak in the back and sit down to listen to other talks, which the women really enjoy. Next up is our manager. Her talk is excellent and is very well received. The girls are getting really nervous now but our manager introduces them and they begin their talks. They are both fantastic and are treated like film stars afterwards, with lots of people wanting to talk to them. Lots of really good contacts are made and both women say they feel a million dollars. So a good day was had by all….and confidence soared!!!
Due to pick up parent to attend our Personal Development Course, however she is not feeling well and cancels. I head off to my base to have case discussions, admin time and a staff team meeting. I phone one of the parents who has been struggling with a sore leg. She had contacted NHS 24 and they had advised her to get to hospital ASAP. Unfortunately she isn’t able to get there as she has no money and so I collect her. She also has to make arrangements for her children as she had been told she may be kept in overnight. As she is feeling very frightened, I reassure her and we set off for the hospital. She now has the medication she requires.