A Children & Families Centres success story

When your boyfriend has just left you, you are struggling with depression and you get a knock on the door from social services advising your children may be taken into care, it feels like the end of the world. Sometimes though, it can be the beginning …


Single parent Michelle was struggling with depression. Her boyfriend had just left her and she was finding her youngest son’s behaviour challenging. One day, during school pick up, he, darted onto a busy road. Catching his arm, Michelle pulled him back sharply. He fell hard and started to cry. They were running late to pick up his brother, so Michelle pulled him into the playground, where he started screaming and kicking out, uncontrollably. Other parents looked on, shocked.

A few days later, social services visited Michelle. They had received reports that she had physically abused her youngest, Henry. If she continued to do so, both he and his brother Alex would be taken into care, they advised.

Michelle was inconsolable.

Realising that this was a young mum who loved her children very much and was genuinely struggling to manage the behaviour of her youngest, the social worker referred Michelle to her local Ormiston Families’ children and family centre.


One of our experienced family support workers visited Michelle at her home, where it was clear that she was struggling to manage Henry’s behaviour. Over the next five months, she supported Michelle with school drop off and collection, showing her different ways to act when she began to feel like Henry’s behaviour was becoming challenging.

Together they worked on ways to improve Michelle’s mental health too, and to improve the relationship between Michelle and her boyfriend, the children’s father.


“That day social services called, I felt like the worse parent in the world. Ormiston Families helped me get back in control of Henry’s behaviour, my relationship with his dad, my mood swings and my life. Thank you.”