Kayleigh and her son Euan* aged 22 months were referred to Welcare by their health visitor. Kayleigh was a young mum experiencing a range of physical and mental health difficulties. They were living in temporary accommodation and she was finding it difficult to manage the needs of a boisterous young child in very cramped conditions and struggling to meet his developmental and learning needs. After providing help with housing, Welcare also arranged a tailored Home Play package, that showed mum how to engage with a range of play with her child. Kayleigh tells her story:
When I first met with Welcare’s Family Support Worker I had high levels of anxiety and found it difficult to go out in public. Euan had so much energy, but even with support and encouragement I couldn’t get out to groups and activities where he could burn off his energy and get the stimulation he needed. I just wanted the best for Euan but didn’t know how to give him what he needed, and I was scared to ask for help.
Welcare’s Family Support Worker helped us with our housing situation, moving us out of temporary housing into an apartment where there was enough room for the two of us. Then Welcare’s play worker, Hina, came and worked with me on a “play package” of fun activities I could do with Euan to help his development. Hina gently explained how each of the activities helped Euan’s emotional, social and physical development.
My relationship with Euan improved so much, and I gained the confidence to play and practise activities with him. We were interacting together more with regular story times, and seeing his progress encouraged me to get out each day and take him to his nursery, which he really enjoys. His teachers say he’s improving every day.
Over the weeks that Hina visited the family, our Family Support Worker noted that Kayleigh was much more engaged with Euan, including sharing stories with him and playing with him more. Kayleigh’s increased understanding of her son’s needs meant that once he had a nursery place, she ensured he attended every session, even though she found leaving home and being in the community a struggle. When we finished our work with Kayleigh, Euan still had full attendance at his nursery and they reported he was making good progress, despite initially being delayed in a few areas.
* Please note names and some circumstances have been changed to protect identity.
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