Case study

Troubled families: North Somerset

Progress in North Somerset helping troubled families turn their lives around.

North Somerset map

The family

Single mum, her ex-partner and their son. Her ex-partner is heavily involved with their son but not living in the home.

The situation

Both son and mum were under threat of eviction due to the high levels of anti-social behaviour committed by the son in the local area. Mum was suffering with poor mental and physical health and was house-bound, which meant she had little idea of what her son was up to outside the home. Her parenting was poor and as a result the son’s behaviour had become more extreme and uncontrollable. The son’s school attendance had dropped to below 50% and when he was at school he was disruptive in class and often excluded. Mum was out of work and the family was struggling financially.

Work with the family and results

The family worker began intense work with the family to address the inconsistent parenting. Regular meetings were set up between mum and the school that the family worker joined which helped mum to properly acknowledge the impact her son’s behaviour was having at school. Parenting sessions focused on boundaries and routines to help prepare the son for school. The sessions also encouraged his parents to take a more active role in his school life. Mum and dad started to get involved with his homework and also encouraged him to attend sports clubs after school, which had positive impact on his behaviour in the community and on his school attendance, which went up to 93%. They are now parenting much more effectively; praising him for good behaviour and seeing sanctions through to conclusion where necessary.

The family was also helped to manage its debts and is now coping with the payment plans that were put in place. Mum is still in poor health but is seeking ways to improve her mobility and get her out of the house. The housing association has had no further complaints about anti-social behaviour, the family relationships have improved and there is no longer tension in the home.

Progress turning families’ lives around in North Somerset

The chart below shows progress made in North Somerset as of March 2014.

Total number of families 305
Number of families identified as at end of March 2014 305
Number of families worked with as at end of March 2014 235
Families turned around as at end of February 2014 81
Published 1 May 2014