One family’s story …

Andrew was traumatised by violence at home. He wasn’t relating to others at school. He was angry, anxious and confused.

His social worker saw new hope when she discovered that his mother was now living alone with Andrew and his sister, and that she was ready to accept help.

With support from the Family Works social worker, Andrew’s mother set some goals that changed life for Andrew and his sister. Now Andrew is safe and happy. He has friends, and he’s learning at school.

A Family Works social worker wrote this story to show a typical process that a family might go through with Family Works:

Many children find it difficult to talk about the violence in their family. Fortunately for one boy (whom we will call Thomas for this story), his mother was worried about him and asked a Family Works social worker at school for help.

It took four private sessions with the social worker before Thomas could talk about his Dad, and another three sessions before the social worker had the whole story about the abuse the family had suffered when Thomas’s father was living with them.

Although his father no longer lived at home, Thomas loved him very much, and worried about him. The social worker helped Thomas to describe the future he wanted for his family by using a specialised drawing technique for children who find it difficult to talk. When she saw how important it was for Thomas to see his father, she set up a meeting for them at his school. With her help Thomas showed his drawings to his father about the future he wanted. The drawings showed a family with the father clearly prominent.

This was a pivotal moment that started the whole family on a long journey of recovery. The social worker referred the father to a family violence specialist and engaged other services to support Thomas’s mother and sisters.

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