We first started to support Chris when he was 16 years old. He had been supported previous to this by Aspirations Children and Young People’s service, in a residential home. He was placed there at the age of 14 following the breakdown of his parent’s marriage and getting into trouble with the police for stealing cars. When our team got involved he had already moved in with his girlfriend who was pregnant.
We started initially supporting Chris for 2 hours daily helping him to budget and do his shopping and also motivating him to do what he needed to do in his life so that ultimately he could live independently. Key to getting Chris to engage with us was finding out what he liked doing. Fitness and football where two things in particular he identified as enjoying so the team helped him enrol at the gym and find a 5 Aside team. They then got him into a routine of regularly going. This was if you like the first stage of Chris’ journey as it helped him not only understand what he could achieve when he followed a routine but it also helped a great relationship start to develop with us. This then enabled us to go on and prompt Chris to start looking for paid work. With our support he gained a job as a decorator with a hotel chain. This skill set led him to take a real pride in his home which he decorated which in turn helped to create a suitable home environment for him and his family. The team played a vital role in helping Chris and his girlfriend maintain their tenancy and also ensuring that they had set up all the necessary financial and health systems in preparation for their new arrival.
In addition to helping Chris understand what he needed to do to live independently perhaps one of the most important things we supported Chris to do was to understand what it meant to become a Dad. This fundamental life skill also helped him develop his relationship with his girlfriend and he grew to really understand how they needed to work together so that that they could be good parents. They attended classes and learnt to recognise when they needed help and how to accept it. They now have 2 wonderful children and the pre assessment that took place prior to the arrival of their second child went really well!!
We supported Chris for 19 months and we are delighted to say that he now no longer needs our support. It has been a delight to see how he has developed into a his role as a father and young man in his own right and we wish him and his family well for the future.