Case study: From homelessness to employment
Rob is a new first time dad just out of his teenage years. He engaged with the project when he and his young family found themselves homeless.
We supported Rob to identify and access the appropriate services, while providing emotional support alongside this. Soon after Rob engaged with us, he was found a place in a local hostel, which greatly unsettled him, as he feared it wasn’t appropriate for his young son.
We spoke with housing and ensured relevant paperwork was submitted in a timely manner, and a family home was offered to him shortly afterwards. However, this home was at the opposite end of the county, meaning he was isolated from friends and family and living in an unfamiliar town.
We continued to provide emotional support, helping Rob to make sense of his situation, overcoming barriers, and identifying opportunities.
One of the opportunities was to address his drug use now the negative peer pressure of friends had ceased. We discussed getting him some professional support, but he said no, as he was very mistrusting of statutory services.
We had several sessions focusing on his drug use, as at first Rob felt like he needed the drug to make him ‘normal’ and a ‘better person’. After engaging in some reflective practice and challenging questions, he acknowledged that he needed to reduce his drug use, and more to the point, he wasn’t scared of losing his identity anymore.
Once Rob settled in to his new home, we began to work with him to develop his CV and to support his search for employment. We booked an appointment for him at a local recruitment agency, who soon found him some paid work. Not only did this give him a sense of worth, but it also helped with his relationship, as his partner was keen he tried harder to find work and provide for the family.
Rob slowly began to ask for support around bonding with his son and taking on more responsibility for caring, as he stated, his son would not spend time with him which resulted in pressure on his partner to be the main care giver.
We discussed attachment and ideas for play he could try, and discussed an opportunity for him to attend local toddler groups. Initially Rob was reluctant to engage with such services as Flying Start, but then agreed as it ‘would be good for his son and partner’.
We supported him and his family to attend a session, introducing them to staff and other parents, which led to positive feedback from Rob.
We offered places for him and partner on an upcoming parenting course, lasting 12 weeks through Flying Start, which after some discussion, he was really positive about. During this time, he has further increased his networks, not only with support services, but other local dads.
Rob recently stated that he now feels comfortable in his new town, and really wants to improve as a father and be a positive role model.