Securing Change is a 3-year project offering support to families who have been residents at a St Michael's centre.
"Securing Change took my phone call when I could not leave the courtroom and face the first afternoon without my son. Came to my home, laughed with me, gave me space when I needed to cry and celebrated the new milestones in my life. I have to walk the path all by myself, but I needed help at first to get on the right path.” Mother
We aim to offer support to mothers and fathers who have stayed at our residential family assessment centres whatever their present situation. If you would like more information or would like to talk to someone, please contact us at email first of all. Tell us how you'd like us to contact you back and we'll do our best to reply as soon as possible.
The need for Securing Change
“I lost my boys, I needed help and I just… I had love there but I felt numb, I just… it felt like I couldn’t love again, and that was it, really… I needed some kind of support to make me feel like I could again… it’s taken me six years to do that, it could have been quicker if I had the counselling…” Mother
Securing Change is a pilot project which began in May 2018. During our residential work with families, we became very aware that once they had left St Michael's, there was usually very limited support.
"Many families call or visit us for support after their assessment, mainly when they are in crisis. Although this demonstrates the good work we do, it highlights the lack of support after the assessments." Centre Manager
'Recurrent care proceedings' are when a mother has more than one child take into care at different times. Professor Karen Broadhurst and colleagues have carried out extensive research around how quickly mothers who have had a child removed from their care are again involved in court proceedings with a subsequent child. There are various projects to tackle it around the country. We are monitoring and learning from them.
Many families we work with have had previous children removed before they come to us with their current child. We have completed a small research project with Middlesex University with mothers who go through this. We want to understand their experiences and what support they wanted.
The support Securing Change offers
During the pilot, we will work with families according to their needs. Issues that we think are likely to be most common are:
- Dealing with grief and perhaps needing therapeutic support
- Contact with the child
- Exploring what needs to change in order to become a parent at some point in the future
- Not returning to previous harmful behaviours.
“I think what [they are] planning on doing with [setting up a new support service] is, it could save so many people's lives… I'm not just talking about their mentality, I'm talking about their whole lifestyle, their whole mind-set, it could change them in such a way you wouldn't understand.” Patrica, a mother, who stayed at St Michael's and had her children taken into Care.
Securing Change -The difference we will make
The changes we are looking to bring about are:
- Parents are able to resolve past issues, have better coping strategies in crises, healthier relationships and are not involved in repeat care proceedings
- Parents feel able to access general services, local groups and training
How we will evaluate Securing Change
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 National Lottery Community Fund, The Philip King Charitable Trust, The Pilgrim Trust, The Tudor Trust, KPMG Foundation, The Elizabeth and Prince Zaiger Trust, other trusts and individual donors to pilot this work.