Bobby’s mum, Jenny, began engaging with me at school because she was really worried about his behaviour at school and their housing situation. The family of four were living in a very small flat, with all four sleeping in the same room.
Jenny started to visit me at school, talking through her concerns about Bobby’s behaviour. She didn’t feel confident enough to speak to the teachers directly, so would offload to me and I would help put her concerns into perspective and pass on any issues to Bobby’s teachers.
Jenny was struggling with very low self-esteem and her anxiety was affecting her relationship with Bobby. She was getting very worried about little things and didn’t know how to deal with her anxieties. This affected Bobby’s behaviour at school, he was having attachment issues and lost confidence in his school work, becoming afraid of failure and rejection.
After spending time with Jenny, and building a trusting relationship, we started to talk about what support the family would benefit from. I suggested she would benefit from taking part in a parenting course, to help her manage her own anxieties better. I worked with the school to set up a parenting programme at the school, which Jenny came to with parents from other local schools.
This has had a really positive impact, Jenny is now a lot more positive about Bobby and is able to put any setbacks into perspective. One of Jenny’s big concerns was that Bobby was struggling with his school work. The school arranged for an assessment, and it was identified that he had dyslexia. This enabled extra support to be put in place, and now Bobby gets some 1-1 support and group sessions to work on his literacy skills. This was a big relief to Jenny and also gave her more confidence in talking to teachers as she knew she had been listened to.
I have referred the family to Families First, a local authority service to help get support with their housing situation. Unfortunately there hasn’t been much progress yet on getting the family into a bigger place.
I thought that it would be helpful if Bobby had the chance to get out of the flat a bit more and meet other people. We managed to get him a mentor through Chance UK, which has been going really well. The school has seen big improvements in his confidence and self-esteem, which is fantastic to see. Bobby has also made really big improvements in his reading and literacy, increasing his reading year by well over a year and has just got a very good mark on the latest spelling test.
*The names in this case study have been changed