Mum was an alcoholic, came from an abusive childhood and had previously been in a relationship where she experienced severe domestic abuse. Her home was a meeting place for other drinkers and there was anti-social behaviour around her property. The children were not attending school regularly and their behaviour in school was disruptive. The father of her children had recently died from a drug overdose.
Work with the family and results
Mum engaged willingly with the family worker and explained she wanted to get her life back under control. She described the impact her alcoholism was having on her and that she felt out of control of her home. After an intensive assessment the family worker quickly arranged for her to attend a detox programme. She was able to help her break her alcohol dependency and through persistent and regular contact was able to gain her trust in order to challenge her about her poor parenting. She contacted the school to let them know about the situation at home and encouraged mum to start setting routines and boundaries for the children. This support at school and home meant that the children’s attendance at school improved significantly. Mum was also encouraged to get counselling to look at the underlying reasons for her drinking. As she improved, the family worker arranged for her to meet a specialist Troubled Families Job Centre Plus worker who was able to offer her direct support. Mum no longer drinks and is keeping a log book of all her triggers so her addiction is under control. Her home is no longer used as a meeting place for drinkers and is a much calmer place.
The school has also reported improved behaviour and happier children and they are taking part in activities outside school too. Mum now describes herself as a ‘recovering alcoholic’ and talks about feeling happy that she finally felt able to trust a worker enough to be honest about her problems and get the help she needed. She is now looking for employment.
Progress turning troubled families’ lives around in Stockport
The chart below shows progress made in Stockport as of March 2014.
Total number of families
Number of families identified as at end of March 2014
Number of families worked with as at end of March 2014