The vast majority of families we have in our residential assessment centres are either on benefits or on very low incomes.
Arriving at our houses can be a very daunting experience for families. Sometimes they have little or no money. They have been sent here under very difficult circumstances to have their parenting abilities fully assessed. They are walking into alien environment with people they don’t know, to go through a difficult and challenging process.
Often this is the last chance for these parents to prove to the courts that they are capable of looking after their children.
Making them feel welcome and getting off to a positive start is really important to us. We have created welcome bags for each family coming into our centres. These are packed with essentials to make the start of their stay feel a little less daunting.
The Welcome Bag idea originated from our house which specialises in supporting young mums.
Families can be with us for up to 12 weeks and they have to support themselves. We encourage everyone to bring the basics with like bedding, cooking equipment, cleaning products and toiletries with them.
Families on low incomes
But sadly, some of the families are struggling to access these very basic items. These Welcome Bags mean we are able to offer some support when they arrive and we hope it goes someway to making them feel welcome and the situation less unnerving.
In the bag are all the ingredients for the first few meals meal and things to entertain the children like colouring books. We want to make the move as smooth and comfortable as possible, and to build trust between us and the families. A £10 donation means we can supply a family with a WelcomeBag when they arrive at our house.
After the families have been through the initial two week assessment, where our team focus on observing the family, they are offered help with budgeting and meal planning and also taken to local foodbanks.