Hayden's story

Case study from January 18, 2024

11 year old Hayden was referred to School-Home Support Practitioner Gemma after his dad died by suicide when he was sentenced to time in prison. The family were also living in unsuitable housing, making it very difficult for Hayden to engage in school. 

Practitioner Gemma was able to support Hayden with his mental health and work with Hayden’s mum to improve the family’s housing situation.

What was the situation?

Hayden’s dad died by suicide last year after he was sentenced to prison. Everyone in the family has found the loss very difficult, but Hayden in particular was struggling with his emotions, which was badly affecting his behaviour in school.

When Gemma started supporting Hayden’s family, he was living with his mum and three siblings in a damp two-bedroom flat. They had been moved into the flat seven years ago as emergency accommodation, and have lived there ever since. 

Hayden was struggling to sleep, so mum was sleeping in one bedroom with the three other children so that Hayden could have his own room.

How did School-Home Support help?

Hayden is receiving support from CAMHS, and for the past two months Gemma has helped him by attending appointments with him and mum when required, and ensuring he has the level of mental health support he needs. 

She has also supported him to attend extra transition sessions to help him prepare for the move to secondary school.

Gemma has supported the family to request a reassessment of their housing needs, and attended housing appointments with mum. As a result of her support, the family has been able to move into a four bedroom house with a garden. Mum, Hayden and his little brother each have their own room, and his sisters share a lovely large room with plenty of space to play.

Mum told Gemma: “I can’t believe it, I have been waiting all this time and it has just happened, I thought it never would. It would never have happened without your help.”

Gemma has also referred the family for extra financial support to make their new house feel like a real home.

Gemma has reflected that Mum seems so much happier and more confident now. All the children are delighted with their new home and Hayden talks positively about new friends he has made in the neighbourhood and about starting at his new school. 

Before he was referred to School-Home Support, Hayden’s attendance was 88.5%. Now his attendance is 85%, as he is in the process of changing schools, and so is only attending half days at his current school. However, his behaviour and engagement in school have hugely improved and he is now looking forward to his future.

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