Someone asked me recently ‘why do you do what you do?’. I had to stop and think – I know that I love my job and look forward to coming to work (really!). But what exactly is it that motivates me to continue to provide a support service for parents and families in the Stroud District? At a recent review of progress, I had a privilege of listening to Mrs Q, a parent, talk of home life now as ‘calm and more confident in her parenting.’ Nothing particularly unusual about that you might think but what is extraordinary is looking back at her journey with us.
Mrs Q came to us with her husband on the recommendation of a friend six months ago. Both were visibly shaken, having recently dealt with their daughter’s attempted suicide and were struggling to know how best to keep their daughter safe. Other support agencies were unable to provide immediate or relevant support, and so they came to us as a ‘last resort’. After an initial conversation we were able to plug in intensive and ongoing 1:1 support for mum straight away and both mum and dad were allocated places on the next parenting programme as well as having access to our regular parent support group. After just a couple of weeks they started the Triple P parenting programme. As a result of their 1:1 support, both were much calmer but still struggling to know how best to manage behaviour from all their children. The outcomes achieved as a result of attending the course have been significant – as well as specific changes in behaviour at home, both parents said they were more confident and calm and were confronting issues whereas before they felt as though they were ‘walking on egg shells’ and unable to tackle things.
This is a family who, without our support would have been left to flounder for many weeks before statutory support would have started working with them. Mrs Q finished her review saying ‘It was amazing that you were there to help when others were unable to. I don’t know where we would be now if we hadn’t come to you. Home is now a world away from where we were before – Thank you so much!’ Such had been the progress achieved and at Mrs Q’s request, we were able to withdraw her 1:1 support but she will continue to have someone on the end of the phone if and when she needs as we recognise that parenting is such a rollercoaster and in those scary moments we all need someone to talk to.
And so that is why I do what a do – to know that by providing the support we do we are able to influence such significant change to the lives of local families.
Family Support Service Manager