Our family residential assessment placements are tough and very intensive, but handled sensitively and with empathy we get some great results.
We have wonderful feedback from parents who at first are very suspicious of us. Often parents assume we just want to recommend their child is removed - they don't understand how our teams are committed to supporting them in every possible way with advice and training.
The feedback from parents makes our teams very proud of the incredibly worthwhile work they do.
The St Michael's house that specialises in supporting parents with learning difficulties asks families leaving for advice for new parents as they arrive. This is what they said...
“Staff members are not here to judge. They will offer advice and support. It may feel like they are obstructing your daily life but they are only advising you on how to look after your child/children.”
“When I got here I hated it, I couldn’t wait to get out of here every second I could. I thought they just want to take my baby off us. I couldn’t have been so wrong. It took 9 weeks to make me realise they wanted the best for us, they helped us so much. We have now finished our assessment and we are now home. Without this place I think we would of lost our baby girl. So all I can say is be honest about everything, they are here to help you like they did us.”
“When we first arrived at St Michaels we thought it was OK, though it got harder and harder - the staff constantly watching everything we did was so annoying. The sessions all seemed irrelevant at the time. We spent weeks basically not opening up and thinking we could blag our way through the assessment."
After week nine we got the biggest wakeup call ever – fix up and take it seriously or we are going to lose – it hit home and something clicked. We had to give it our all and co-operate and it’s the best thing we did and only wish we’d done it sooner as we realise the staff were here to help and support us.
“My advice is this is the best support you can get. Just remember it’s never too late to have a fresh start. Do whatever you have to do for your family.
“Everyone’s assessments are different. Don’t think someone is doing better or worse than you, everyone learns and parents differently. You’re TRYING your hardest.”