Jolene’s life had not been easy. She was dealing with trauma from abusive relationships and a lifetime of drug and alcohol abuse, and now all three of her children had been removed from her care. She needed someone to talk to, help in understanding where things went wrong, and time to heal.
Jolene, 31, had been in and out of care from a young age after suffering neglect and sexual abuse at the hands of her mother’s partner. She had spent her life under the influence of drugs and alcohol to help her numb the pain of her past, and she came to us knowing her situation needed to change. Two of her children had been adopted at this point, and her youngest was under the care of Jolene’s Aunt. At the time, a Special Guardianship Order had been applied for.
Jolene needed support in understanding why her children were removed, and how her past experiences may have influenced her current situation. She needed help to understand how she could move on and come to terms with what had happened in her life.
A support plan was put together and Jolene and Jasmine, from our Mpower service, worked together to achieve their intended goals.
Jolene was referred to the Pandora project to gain specialist support having experienced domestic abuse. Jasmine assisted her in contacting legal support, gave her advice on how to build a positive relationship with her social worker, and guidance on appropriate language and questions to use regarding her son when contacting the caregiver.
When meeting with her children, Jolene was supported with positive role modelling, and positive and appropriate behaviour at contact sessions. She was given suggestions for low pressure but fun and engaging activities and appropriate language at contact sessions and on Skype.
She was referred to CGL (Norfolk Alcohol and Drug Behaviour Change Service) to seek treatment for her use of drugs and alcohol to cope with her past experiences.
Jolene completed the ‘Open the Box’ course at the Pandora project which helped her understand and break the cycle of domestic abuse. She had built up a better relationship with her social worker, with trust and reliability achieved on both sides.
She secured legal support, and, although the CGL application was declined, Jolene has been sober since early June and passed her hair strand test with 0% trace of substances.
She has made more regular contact and built trust with the child’s caregiver which has led to more informal contact with the child being allowed and more pictures shared between them. At a recent meeting with her child, Jolene was able to ease the child’s nerves and encourage them to play a ball game by using positive role modelling and encouraging the child to make their own choices.
Jolene says: “I can’t thank you enough you have been absolutely amazing. You have gone above and beyond. Without you and my partner I wouldn’t have been able to do all of this.”