Community Parenting Project

Emma

Emma was referred to Elmore when she was 22; she had a long history of family neglect, homelessness, rough sleeping and had been with a violent and controlling partner for five years. Her first child had been removed and adopted on the grounds of risks from domestic abuse and neglect.

When she was six months pregnant she was facing eviction, she had not been attending maternity appointments and presented as being underweight and as having poor self-care. Emma has a long history of depression and historically has found it very hard to engage with services.

After slowly building up a relationship with Emma we supported her to begin the process of Child Protection with Children’s Social Care. As a result of an in-depth psychological report had been prepared regarding her last pregnancy, they were clear that they felt that Emma did not have the capacity to parent a child.

Elmore supported Emma to secure temporary housing to see a family lawyer. With support Emma instructed the lawyer to act on her behalf. In the next few weeks Emma was supported to attend several Child Protection meetings and meetings with housing, lawyer and midwife. During this time Emma was also admitted to hospital with pregnancy related complications. Emma’s support worker liaised closely with the medical team on her ward ns Emma’s baby was safely delivered. The day after the baby’s birth Emma’s partner was sentenced to 8 weeks in prison for an assault on another female. Emma than began to divulge information about the relationship and the level of fear and abuse she had been subjected to, Emma expressed motivation to end the relationship for the first time.

With support Emma has accessed counselling (Talking Space), got a prescription for anti-depressant drugs and now has a specialist domestic abuse outreach worker; she is liaising with her housing team and the rents department to ensure that her tenancy is safe. Emma’s engagement with services had improved dramatically and she is seeing her child at an approved contact centre three times per week. Emma’s chances of being able to appropriately parent her child have dramatically increased in recent months, there is a noticeable change in her mood and motivation and her parenting skills have been far better then initially expected. Emma is hopeful that she will avoid returning to her partner and that she will continue to have contact with her baby.

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Elmore Community Services (ECS) is a registered charity governed by a Board of Directors. It provides high quality services for marginalised and disenfranchised people throughout Oxfordshire. Elmore was established in 1989 after an Oxford research project identified the weaknesses of service provision for people deemed ‘difficult to place’.

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