I met Lisa, a mum who recently separated from her husband, the father of her three children, through a referral from a primary school in Barking and Dagenham. The school was concerned about the attendance of the youngest daughter in Year 3.
The dad’s moods used to cause problems for the family, and there was some emotional abuse of the mum and children. As a result of the abuse and because she was still plagued with emotional issues from her past, Lisa struggled with self-esteem and had no support from family or friends. She was unable to read or write, so could not help her children with homework.
After talking to Lisa and her three daughters, the oldest one of whom I’d already been working with previously, their confidence has been building. The dad has been asked to leave the house, so that the children don’t worry about his moods anymore. Lisa now has her own income, is doing an English and IT course within our school, has participated in two parenting courses, and is seeing a CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) counsellor alongside her oldest daughter.
Lisa’s success story doesn’t stop here: she has also booked a driving test because she wants to be more independent and wants her girls to see her achieving things. She is volunteering at the school, and she is now more aware of how school attendance affects not only her daughters’ grades, but also their emotional and social wellbeing. Lisa wants to get a job in the near future, and her youngest daughter is much happier in school.
*The names in this case study have been changed