Referrals come in to Safe Families for a large variety of reasons. Some are DV related, some are due to isolation, refugee status, or mental health issues. A great many are also health related and due to the unexpected nature of accidents or previously unsuspected illness, often strike down families suddenly and with devastating impact.
Recently a lonely single mum was referred to us by the Early Help team as mum needed an urgent stomach operation. Mum was in a lot of discomfort and unable to move without being in pain. She was therefore not able to care for her 1-year-old little boy. As she had to stop working due to the pain her son’s nursery placement was withdrawn, so not only was she unable to complete the physical tasks of lifting and carrying him but he was constantly at home needing attention.
A married couple, Megan and Ian, stepped in as Family Friends to provide three full days of childcare to give mum some respite while she went through her surgery. Ian and Megan fortuitously lived close by and were able to pick the little boy up every morning and drop him off at his dad’s house in the evening after he had finished work so that he could care for him overnight.
The mum has continued to be supported by the Family Friend but was very grateful that the support came so opportunely and said she couldn’t believe how quickly her little boy built up a relationship with Megan and Ian. Even on the second day he couldn’t wait to get in the car and go off for a fun day with them. The little boy loved spending time with the couple and he had lots of fun at the local play area and at McDonalds.