When the family was first referred to Safe Families for Children by a health visitor 3 months ago, Angela was not in a good place. She was very tearful over the health of her little girl as the family were in daily anxious suspense over her awaited diagnosis, which they suspected would be that of autism.
Angela unselfishly said that she wanted support for her daughter but Safe Families felt that the support would be better put in place for mum, as if she were back to her old self then she would feel a lot more stable and this would enable her to care for her daughter more effectively.
The first day that the Safe Families Family Support Manager visited, mum was suffering from depression and having a very bad day, “I was in a bad way at the time,” says mum. A Safe Families for Children Family Friend started taking Angela out on a weekly basis, going for coffee and chats.
“My Family Friend is absolutely brilliant; she’s been there with me through all the key moments. She was there when we got a diagnosis on my daughter’s autism, when I went through the bad time at the beginning, how worried I was about not getting help…She’s more of a friend. Very understanding and I looked forward to meeting up with her and going out for coffee and stuff, it was absolutely brilliant!”
Angela’s daughter was diagnosed with autism, but for mum the knowledge after such prolonged suspense came as a great relief. Professional help could start for her daughter and mum now understood her daughter’s behaviour and could deal with it appropriately. Angela is doing much better now, and sounds cheerful as she considers her life and future.
“My life has changed immensely. We’re not the same family, things are different. And I’m different now as well, because I’m constantly fighting for my daughter to get the medical help she needs. I speak my mind and say how it is whereas before I wouldn’t have done that. I’m more confident.”
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