Yasmin was referred to me by the Child Protection lead as her family were encountering severe problems with housing, which was affecting school attendance. Yasmin lives with her single mother, Aisha, and her three siblings. One week before the referral, they had been evicted from their house and were now living with various family members, moving from house to house. The oldest daughter’s school attendance had been adversely affected as a result.
The family had a history of facing domestic violence from the father, which unfortunately reoccurred during my time as their practitioner. The children faced additional difficulties because Aisha did not speak any English, which put a lot of pressure on the oldest daughter, Yasmin, to come to meetings and translate.
14-year-old Yasmin was normally a model pupil and a high achiever, so I saw that the housing problem was the main factor affecting the children’s school performance. I referred the family to a social worker who speaks Aisha’s mother tongue, which took some of the pressure off Yasmin. The council initially wanted to discharge duty and relocate the family to Birmingham, but after I met with, called, and emailed its housing department, alongside solicitors, estate agents, and housing advice charities, the Council decided not to discharge duty.
The family are now living in temporary but self-contained accommodation in the borough. Yasmin’s school attendance has improved drastically, she has not missed any of her Year 9 exams, and she is catching up with missed work for her Science GCSE. I have built a good, open, and honest relationship with Yasmin, in which she has felt able to talk about her feelings and any issues affecting her, and I have also referred her to an in-school counsellor. A social worker is additionally helping the whole family out at home.
*The names in this case study have been changed