Today, I did a home visit to a Foster Carer’s home to begin my 1:1 art therapy work with a twelve year old daughter of one of my service users.
I have worked with her Mum four times as she has been in and out of custody for many years. The child’s Dad does have her overnight each week, but feels he cannot cope with her behaviour and is afraid to enforce boundaries for fear of being judged as punitive by Social Workers. I am working on ways for Dad and Daughter to do activities together which will perhaps form a bond between them.
Mum and Dad are not together and have a very toxic relationship which has been witnessed by the child throughout her life.
Having recently attended a LAC Review for this child, where everyone expressed concern about her recent behaviour and school truancy, her Social Worker asked me if I would do some 1:1 work with her to enable her to express her feelings and thoughts and feel that she has an adult that she can trust.
We did some introductory work with ‘Getting to Know You’ questions on cards which I made. The questions evoked discussions and some giggles.
We then did some work with dough as she was averse to drawing, and having made models of her family, I was able to ask questions about her models which gave me more insight into their relationships and her feelings about her Mum, Dad and Self.
This work is ongoing.
After this visit which lasted over two hours, I did two more home visits; one to see a service user who recently gave birth to a daughter and is currently undergoing a parenting capacity assessment for twelve weeks. She has home contact with baby three times a week and this was occurring when I arrived, so I was able to cuddle the baby and discuss attachment with baby’s Mum.
The next visit was to a service user who has just been released from prison. She required support to fill out housing benefit forms and we spent an hour and a half on the phone applying for her ESA benefit.
Each day, when I finish work and return home, I type up my notes on Circle’s database and also on Shine’s CMS database.