Tanya was referred to Small Steps Together at 6 months’ pregnant. Feeling isolated and alone, Tanya wanted help to manage her anxieties during pregnancy and after her baby’s birth.
Tanya had a history of abusive relationships and a difficult childhood which led her to feel isolated and anxious later in life. Whilst her 6-year-old daughter lived with her; Tanya’s two eldest children were now living with their fathers.
Our practitioner Louise, worked with Tanya for 14 months providing both home visits and zoom calls. Over this time, Tanya was supported to meet other mums in the area so that her oldest daughter could develop with her peers, and she had a supportive network around her. To increase Tanya’s confidence in caring for her children, she used video interaction guidance (VIG) so that Tanya was able to watch footage of her interaction with her daughters and understand her progress and successes for herself.
The service adopted a trauma-informed approach so that Tanya was able to use positive coping mechanisms for managing her anxiety and to enable her to work on her relationships. At times, her mental health suffered greatly and the Small Steps Together team was there to step in and support Tanya in her darkest hours. They worked on building her confidence and reducing her feelings of anxiety through specific exercises which helped her to manage her overall mental health. Louise also provided Tanya with practical assistance in applying for grants.
Importantly, Louise also provided advocacy during Child Protection conferences; a crucial element to their time together which ensured Tanya was clear about the process and knew what she needed to do to keep her children safe in her care.
Tanya now has a network of supportive friends and regularly sees her family, having been estranged from them for several years. Although Tanya has experienced instances when her coping mechanisms haven’t always helped, she has sought support and was able to keep herself and her children safe. Tanya has worked well with social care so that they have been able to step down her case.
Tanya said about Small Steps Together: ‘If you hadn’t been there, I would have done something stupid. I had the knives laid out in the kitchen. I had called everyone else and not been able to get hold of anyone. Because you knew what I was usually like you knew something was wrong, so I didn’t have to explain myself and you came right round to my house. All I wanted was someone to recognise I was ill and listen to what I was feeling.’