Supporting mothers to break the cycle of repeat care proceedings
The need for this service
For many years we have been troubled by the lack of support for mothers leaving our residential family assessment service without their child. Without assistance, many of these mothers quickly become pregnant again and lose their next baby to care proceedings. ‘Securing Change’ will provide tailored support to these mothers to exit the cycle. The project will begin in Spring 2018.
The problem of recurrent care proceedings has come to national attention and there are now various initiatives to tackle it. We are monitoring and learning from these projects.
How Securing Change Works
This is a three-year pilot with two full time staff offering holistic and tailored one to one support for mothers in Lambeth and adjacent local authorities Southwark, Sutton, Croydon and Surrey who leave our residential service without their child. Their support is complemented by a weekly facilitated peer support group.
Because St Michael’s has worked with these mothers in residency support may begin as soon as the mother leaves our residential service – there is no hiatus which is key as we know the downward spiral can be very rapid and very deep.
One to one support will be tailored to the evolving needs of each mother. She will be involved in structuring her support. The peer support group will be very much driven by the needs of members, following the DiVa model.
Securing Change is a development of our family assessment and outreach services. In both parents receive intensive, holistic and tailored support over an extended period. In outreach we work with local partners focused on housing, education, employment, criminal justice and wellbeing. Securing Change will replicate this.
The difference we will make
The changes we are looking to bring about are:
- Participants are able to resolve past issues, have better coping strategies in crises, healthier relationships and are not involved in repeat care proceedings
- Participants feel able to access general services, local groups and training
Securing Change will be evaluated by the Centre for Abuse & Trauma Studies (CATS) at Middlesex University.
We are most grateful to have secured funding from The Big Lottery, The Philip King Charitable Trust, The Pilgrim Trust, The Tudor Trust, KPMG Foundaiton, The Elizabeth and Prince Zaiger Trust, other trusts and individual donors to pilot this work.