Family referred by Social Care – Children in Need team. Mum has a cannabis addiction and suffers from mental illness (depression). Dad has an alcohol and cocaine addition. There are three children, all girls, in the family; 1 year old, 5 years old and 10 years old.
Both parents wanted to address their addiction issues and help to access services. We contacted Oasis and booked them both in for a full screening assessment on the same day, one after the other. A Support Worker supported them through this appointment and liaised with Oasis to offer them suitable appointments in line with their childcare needs.
After a few weeks, Dad started brief intervention appointments at Oasis. We assisted him with transport as finances were too tight for the family due to debt and benefit issues for him to be able to afford the bus fares. After a short period on the waitng list, Mum was offered appointments with a counsellor once a week in her local area. Grandparents were able to offer childcare where necessary.
When we first assessed this family, their 10 years old daughter was extremely withdrawn and would not look or talk to the Support Worker. A Sessional Worker started one to one work with her immediately. She was introduced to a couple of other young carers of a similar age and once her confidence level had built up we slowly introduced her into mainstream Young Carers clubs and activities.
The Support Worker attended a number of Child in Need meetings with this family and there has been a marked improvement in their overall situation.
Both parents have engaged well with Oasis support and greatly reduced their misuse of substances and are working towards abstinence (Dad has stopped using cocaine). The young carer is now fully accessing our mainstream project and attending after school activities and therefore built up her social network.
Mum will continue with her counselling until she is fully abstinent and is now accessing support from her GP for her depression. Dad will continue to access Oasis independently now his benefit issues are resolved and their debts are being managed, attending the weekly alcohol support groups and back to work support.