In 2019, Positive Futures launched their Family Support Service. Why? Because they were increasingly seeing a demand from families who felt that they had nowhere left to turn for support. Since then, this service has seen an unprecedented demand, especially during the recent national lockdown. Once such cry from help came from Family X, and in particular, the two children within their family unit.

The referral

Child B was initially referred to Positive Future’s Targeted Support Service. This is a specialist one-to-one service that supports young people struggling with behavioural, personal or mental health issues. After receiving support from the Targeted Support Workers, it soon became apparent that the wider family unit needed some extra support too, so a referral to the charity’s Family Support Worker was made.

The intervention

The Family Support Worker supported both siblings with their individual issues, whilst working alongside mum. Child B had been presenting at school with difficulties and showing signs of disengagement, and had recently been in the local news due to their behaviour. His sibling, Child C, was at risk of exclusion from mainstream education due to her behaviour.

Positive Futures worked with mum and both schools over a period of a few weeks, during which time, they acted as an intermediately and also helped to give another perspective to the school thanks to the support of the Targeted Support Team. The Family Support Worker also worked closely with mum, who was struggling to articulate herself and understand the systems around exclusion from mainstream. Mum was really struggling to keep Child C safe, with concerns about Child Sexual Exploitation. She didn’t feel that she was receiving adequate support from the school, so having the Family Support Worker was a vital life-line to mum as well, ultimately helping her to understand the situation and options available to her.

“The services Positive Futures has made a huge difference to our lives in easing the stress. It has been excellent!”

The impact

Working with the Family Support Worker, Child B was able to successfully relocate to another school, which he and mum felt was better for him. His exclusion was also lifted as concerns were raised as to whether or not Child B’s Special Education Needs Statement had been met by the school. In reversing this decision, Child B was able to successfully move to another school. At the same time, he started engaging in the wider youth development activities on offer at Positive Futures. His behaviour improved both in and outside of school, and there have been no further reports to date of anti-social behaviour within his community.

Mum said;

“Positive Futures has supported my son in moving schools, since he was subjected to bullying and harassment that impacted badly on his mental health.  I felt very supported throughout this process and I know that Positive Futures were always on the end of the phone.”

Child C has also moved schools and is due to start her new school in September. The Positive Futures Family Support Worker supported mum during this process, and accompanied her to school meetings to help mum feel more comfortable when explaining the situation.

Mum went on to say;

“The Family Support Worker has been so supportive in every step of the way. The services Positive Futures has made a huge difference to our lives in easing the stress. It has been excellent!

“Me and my child felt listened to with care and compassion. Positive Futures were very understanding, amazing work.”