Susy is in her thirties, has a Learning Disability and is from an Arabic background. She has an eight year old son whom she loves very much but has struggled to raise. Her son is bright and lively and Susy has asked for support in raising him and understanding the different stages of his childhood, and how to deal with them. He has moved from Child Protection to Child in Need and back to meeting the threshold for Child Protection. Her support from family was ad hoc and the LA had concerns around Susy’s vulnerability and her son’s exposure to unsuitable males and relationships.

How you established the level and type of support which the client required and how this support was provided:

Worked with Susy to establish trust as an independent professional. She had disengaged with a lot of professionals whom she felt were judgemental and failed to understand her views. It appeared clear very quickly that she needed somebody to understand what she was trying to say and support her to voice it in a constructive manner as she tended to be understood and shut out from conversations. I started supporting Susy at meetings and quickly became attuned to what she was trying to say. She was making valid points and just needed professionals to give her time to explain. At the same time Susy needed support to understand the concerns the local authority had and to hear that from an independent person.

Options discussed and details about which option(s) the client pursued:

Discussed with Susy her options regarding the care of her son in order to address the concerns which had been raised. This included getting some structured support from family members as well as making sure her son did not come into contact with recently met males. We also discussed the options for her son to accept her brother’s offer to live with him and his family.

Identify any barriers experienced and how you overcome these barriers:

Susy’s communication with her LD social worker had broken down. This made is difficult for her to accept support and further increased concerns around her engagement with professionals. As a result a Public Law Outline (PLO) was issued and court proceedings were started.

Worked extensively with Susy and professionals to re-build communication. They began to understand the level of attachment Susy had to her son and that she had his best interest at heart. Supported client to request a change of social worker and once this was obtained Susy started to engage again.

Outcome:

The court ruled that Susy’s son should live with his uncle but ensured Susy had regular contact with her son and recognised the important role she was able to play in his life. She was also give credit for having tried her best to care for her son.

Client’s feedback about the support that they had received:

Susy has expressed her gratitude for our support and found it very empowering and helpful. She now felt she can raise issues and communicate views in a constructive manner