I was incredibly stressed with the behaviour issues of my children and had social services on the case. I did the Youth Connect 5 course and I have never felt more at ease in my life. I felt that I could share anything, and we were all in the same kind of place.
I felt that I made some good friends who supported me and understood what I was dealing with. The ACEs was my favourite, which taught me about myself, what had gone on and the effect it had had on me. It gave me ways to deal with the children and built our family resilience.
I realised that just because they were children and although I might not have thought something was really that important, realising that for them it was and being able to try and put myself in their shoes, and that we all need support, no matter what age we are.
It has helped me to build a relationship with my teenage daughter who was struggling with her mental health and means that I am now better able to support her, and she is more open and honest with me about what is going on. This has helped her mental health and helped improved mine too, as I am less stressed and anxious as she is able to talk to me.
They have become part of my support network, as felt that I could just be completely open and honest about what was going on and felt at ease, I had not felt like that with other organisations, and I have been in quite a few. We can all keep in touch after the courses through the WhatsApp groups and you know that they are always there whenever you need them, even after courses have finished.
During COVID, they have offered a lot of practical support when my daughters bed broke, I posted in our WhatsApp group and within 10 mins, they called to say it was sorted and we could go and pick it up or they could try and arrange for it to be delivered. We were happy and able to collect it and just glad it was sorted so quickly. We also needed a stairgate as the baby had been flooding the bathroom which leaked into the bedroom. Again they sorted it out through the family networks and delivered to us. They even sent several food boxes which helped with finances, and games, bedding and other lovely bits for the children which was nice to know they were thinking of us and understood things were hard. I not only have a better understanding of how to deal with things at home with the children, but also in my relationship and it just all makes me feel more at ease. As a result, we have been removed from the Child Protection Register, although we remain on Child In Need for a few more months but things are looking good towards this ending too. I think the courses helped as social services could see that I was able to get support and then put new strategies into place at home which helped the girls calm down and made things better.