An Introduction to our support from our Founder!
Our founder Kate Blakemore, a person-centred counsellor, worked in the homeless sector for many years. During this time she noticed a large number of homeless women were also mums but their children were no longer in their care.
This prompted Kate to study not only the issues these homeless women were facing in general, but also how their situation sometimes worsened if they became a mum. From Kate’s research and her discussions with these mums she concluded that there was no specialist support for them – and this was the catalyst to start the Believe Project.
Each mum works with their Support Worker to produce a person-centred support plan with a focus on the following 8 areas:
How We Support You!
The Believe model’s overall aim is to help prevent the cycle of children being removed from their mum’s care.
The Believe project works with mums who are at risk of or have experienced their children being removed from their care.
We aim to give mums the opportunity to deal with the trauma of losing their children by working with them to make positive life decisions in all aspects of their mental health and wellbeing. We offer a person-centred, non judgemental approach, where we gain the trust of the mums that we work with and work with them to produce a bespoke support plan.
The mum can also access our in house counselling service, where she has time to reflect and to come to terms with the loss and trauma she has experienced. Often mums who experience the removal of their children have deep rooted and complex issues that need focussed support to help them move forward.
The pivotal goal is to offer the right support to help the mum make and sustain changes in her life to hopefully prevent any further children being removed from their care, if she was to become pregnant again.
The relationship between the mum and her Believe Support Worker is key…..
It is one which is secure, consistent and predictable; it is a relationship where the mum is valued and respected for who she is. The mum is encouraged to discover or uncover their individual identity, needs and aspirations. The Support Worker will encourage them to be actively involved in all parts of the programme, and take supported risks to learn new skills.
This is different to the negative perspectives and language that many of the mums will be used to hearing about themselves.
The bespoke support plan focuses on achieving what, from the outside, might seem small steps but we know are giant strides forward for the mums themselves. Hopefully resulting in a sense of achievement and self worth.
Each Support Worker works with between 10 and 15 mums, enabling them to give the time to focus on each mum’s needs.
The relationship is nurturing, but it is also challenging, it quickly develops into a partnership to help break destructive cycles and to help the mum work towards a more positive future.
The Support Worker’s relationship with each mum is not linear, and it is expected that there will be some bumps along the way.
The Support Workers are tenacious and going the extra mile is the norm, for example
- If a mum is no longer living at her usual address, her Support Worker will use her contacts and networks to track her down and make sure she’s safe.
- If a mum is struggling to deal with particular service providers, such as housing, her Support Worker will work with her to resolve the situation and to empower her with the tools to manage similar situations herself in the future.