A parent's experience of a residential family assessment

A couple, from the travelling community, described the experience of doing a residential family assessment as one of the hardest things they had ever done. They also had some words of encouragement for other families who come for assessment.

The 12 week assessments are tough for all parents. They have often suffered neglect in their own childhoods or are struggling with issues around mental health or having learning disabilities. The cultural differences and expectations also made this particular assessment challenging.  

First Caring Dads of 2019 a success

Here's some of the great feedback we had from the dads that took part in our first Caring Dads of 2019.  

Did you enjoy Caring Dads?

“I did enjoy the group work. For the first day it was a bit like boring but after the first session I begin to love it.”

“No [I didn’t think I would like it]. But after that everybody opened up and you had the freedom to talk about yourself, your life and understand the people. And this is a very good experience. It has changed a lot of my life.” Chris

Kim - young domestic abuse: a toolkit for youth workers

Kim - young domestic abuse is a toolkit for teachers, youth facilitators and community groups working with young people. Kim introduces and explores the difficult issue of domestic abuse in young relationships. Kim helps young people to identify different kinds of domestic abuse and the impact on children. It helps young people have an understanding of healthy relationships.  It teaches how to recongise warning signs, how to get help and how to support a friend.  

Swim the channel - avoiding jellyfish and ferries

What makes you decide to swim the channel? To cross one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and what does it do to you? Add to that, its 34 km of sea and the furthest you’ve ever swam is 2 miles! And, you are due to swim it in two months. How does this work!  

“More people climb Mount Everest than swim the channel solo,” says Tina Campbell who is swimming the channel to raise money for St Michaels. She then tells me and that her team are doing it the easy way, by doing it in relay. But she quickly adds “It doesn’t feel like the easy way.”

Taking Caring Dads to Estonia

St Michael's has been helping spread the successful Caring Dads programme in Europe. Last month, our outreach manager Elaine Gaskell-Mew and Dermot Brady from Kingston University were in Estonia training other European practitioners on how to run their own Caring Dads programme.

The training took place over three days and involved the delegates demonstrating and delivering their own sessions. Elaine said:

Tessa Baring CBE

Tessa Baring CBE - Patron and Former Chair of St Michael's

"Sadly, we report the death of Tessa Baring," writes St Michael's Director Sue Pettigrew OBE. 

"We have so much to thank her for; she was intimately involved in the growth of St Michael’s from a single project to a number of services, and with the development of a management structure. 

"No other work like it!" says deputy manager

When we said we needed help with recruitment and letting people know what the benefits of working for St Michael’s are, our deputy manager, Hannah said she’d help. She works in one of our Family Assessment Centres and wants more people to know how important the work we do is. Here she explains how she’s making a difference to families lives and developing with us professionally. Thanks Hannah.

Outstanding again

We are excited to annouce that one of our Family Residential Assessment Centres has been recognised as Outstandinng by Ofsted. 

A huge congratualtions to the whole team at Crawford house. It's one of four Family assessment centres we run in South London - two of the others are also outstanding with another good with outstanding features. Everyone is super proud of what they have achieved. 

What Ofsted had to say

Ofsted praised its leadership and described it as ‘forward thinking and ambitious for the children and parents.’  

Storytelling and how it helps children

Storytelling at Friday Young Parents Group

Storytelling was a great session. We discussed how storytelling can benefit our children; basic speech skills; stronger parent-child relationship; strong sense of identity; encourage logical thinking, reading and communication skills; preparation for school and academic success, socialising. 

Parents were then asked to write  their own story - the response was fantastic.