You First key worker Katy has been working with 32 year old Sarah* since September 2014. Sarah was considered to be ‘not engaging’ with any agencies or services previous to this.
Sarah and her siblings were removed from family care as young children. After leaving school, she eventually became an injecting crack and heroin user, a heavy drinker and was street homeless. She had several children, who were removed from her and have since been adopted. She has been in and out of prison many times and currently wears a tag. She was not claiming benefits, falling in and out of drug treatment and was heavily in debt.
Our partnership approach means that the team had a comprehensive picture of Sarah’s chaotic history before Katy met her. Katy started by meeting Sarah for breakfast and a chat, initially working on building Sarah’s trust and working out achievable daily steps. Katy has helped Sarah get the basics sorted, like setting up benefits, registering with a GP, getting used to the routine of attending appointments and accompanying Sarah to court for a bail hearing.
Five months later, Sarah is starting to do it on her own. She meets her drug worker fortnightly and tries not to miss appointments. She has started to attend a weekly group at a local alcohol service.
It is very early days, but building a trusted relationship means that Sarah has someone to turn to when times are tough, the first step in a long road to recovery.
*We have changed Sarah’s name.