Kay presented to Women’s Work in February 2021 after recommendation from Derby Children’s Social Services. Her youngest child had been placed in Local Authority Care, due to risk of harm and failure to safeguard the child from her abusive ex-partner. At her assessment she presented with a distrust of professionals and was very overwhelmed and upset at feeling she was having to prove herself as a fit parent by engaging with Women’s Work. During her assessment Kay shared that she had been in abusive relationships before and has had previous children adopted and in foster care because of this. She struggled to see what impact this had had on her and her children. We agreed that she should attend Freedom Programme to enable her to understand and recognise the impact of domestic abuse on herself and her children.
How we helped
Kay was worried about how she was going to afford to attend her appointments at WW, as she had very limited income and had to budget carefully to ensure she could afford travel costs to visit her children. We agreed that she could attend the virtual Freedom Programme, on a Tuesday evening, which would be delivered via Zoom.
When Kay first started attending the virtual group she found it really difficult to engage in conversation or share her own experience. However, as the group progressed her confidence grew and she joined in more and began to ask more questions. When we reached the session which explored in depth the effects of domestic abuse on children. Kay engaged well and shared her own experiences of how domestic abuse had affected her children, recognising the trauma they may have experienced, and its impact on their physical and mental health.
Kay attended consecutively and at the end of the 12 week programme, was awarded her certificate of completion.
Kay continued to engage with remote support via weekly phone calls with her project worker, who was able to provide a report for court on how well Kay had engaged with the Freedom Programme and how much her mindset had changed from when she started the course compared to completing the course.
In December 2021 Kay was awarded custody of her 15-month-old son and he was able to move back into the family home. A restraining order was granted against her ex-partner meaning he cannot enter the town in which she lives and he cannot contact her at all. Kay and her son are settling in together well and she now attends our coffee mornings at Women’s Work where she can meet other Mums, her son can socialise with other children and she can get support from staff when needed.