A Family Support Project
Project location: UNITED KINGDOM, West Midlands
Project start date: March 2001 - Project end date: March 2002
Project number: 2000-06
The role of these social workers, that belong to the same ethnic groups of the families they assist, is to become "friends" of the mothers, or at least gain their confidence, making them understand the advantages of social assistance, enabling them to take advantage of it. The social workers help the mothers to fill in the forms to request social subsidies, and assist them trough all the bureaucratic procedures. Then they organised a Saturday Club where children can play supervised by psychologists and the mothers can meet and share their problems. They activated a telephone line for help requests on everyday problems.
In many cases the loneliness of these women becomes depression and incapacity of looking after the disabled child: therefore the possibility of having a reference point through the KIDS Centre enables them to escape from isolation and share with other women their problems. At present the social workers of Birmingham assist 72 families with house visits at least twice a week. From February to July 2002 they made 421 visits. They accompany them at the hospitals, mainly to assist them with the language. They organise excursions (for Easter they visited a chocolate factory and in July they went to Drayton amusement park) buy them toys (many children, with disabilities or without, don't have anything to play with) and teach mothers how to play with their children.