When a family accepts that they need to change, they meet a Family Works social worker and begin regular family meetings at home. The social worker runs these meetings, advocating for the family, collaborating with other agencies, supporting individuals into specialist services, and doing anything else that will help the family to get their life on track.
Step one is always about building trust. It can take some families a long time to feel safe with their social worker - and with each other too. From here, the family finds out who they really are as a family; they identify their fears and the problems that brought them to this point. They also see their hopes, and the strengths that they can draw on.
The family then sets goals, makes a plan to achieve them, and start the courageous work of turning their family life around. There are set-backs, progress reviews and plan adjustments. Some things go quickly, some need more time. A family is through the hardest part of the journey when they feel they can start to go it alone.
And they can always come back to their Family Works social worker for more support if they need it.
It is heartening to see a family say goodbye to old disruptive patterns and behaviours. They begin to feel safe together and are kinder to each other too. And as the family heals, new changes start to come, not just for them but for their local community as well.