As told by one of our School Practitioners based in Croydon...

The school referred Kelly to me after she had seemed tired and distant in class. The school explained that there had been concerns previously that Kelly had been left unsupervised at home but the family had not been assigned a social worker. Upon visiting Mum at home it became apparent why Kelly might be feeling tired in class. For the previous two years Kelly and her Mum had been sharing a single room in a shared property. There were issues with the heating and in the winter the room had become cold and damp. Mum said that the damp and cramped conditions had caused both her and Kelly to become ill.

I immediately supported Mum in making a homeless application to the council, and I sent a supporting letter outlining challenges the family are facing. The Housing Officer at the local council has begun to support Mum with looking for appropriate housing and I have used the Welfare Fund to buy them new bedding and furniture.

Before lockdown I created a list of places and activities that Mum and Kelly could visit/access so that they could get out of their cramped conditions and I felt that Kelly would benefit from having more experiences and memories to talk about and reflect on. I also had discussions with Mum to ensure that she is aware of Kelly’s parents evening.

After I had supported Mum with her housing situation, I was pleased at how receptive she had become to suggestions and support for Kelly’s home learning during lockdown. I have kept regular contact with the family throughout lockdown and Kelly told me that she would like some books and after speaking to her class teacher I was able to arrange for her to borrow some. In addition to toys, I was also able to provide IT Resources via Raspberry Pi so Kelly was able to keep up with her learning from home. I am delighted at how engaged both Mum and Kelly have become with her education and excited Kelly happily returned to school in September.