This week, we want to help a desperate mum who is on the verge of losing her son (we have changed their names to protect their privacy).
Simon is 12 years old and has various physical and mental health issues. He was excluded from mainstream school at a very young age and now attends a special school. His behaviour is very challenging for his mum, who cares for him on her own. He has aggressive outbursts which usually result in him trashing their council home. He has also threatened his mum in the past and tried to hurt himself as well.
She is working with health professionals and doing all she can to get him the help he needs, but she feels like she has tirelessly fought on his behalf for many years and received little help.
Social services have told Tina that their home is not a safe environment for Simon. If she doesn't make it safe, and implement parenting strategies to manage his behaviour, they will take him away.
Tina is terrified of losing Simon. She said he hates change and fears he would react terribly to being placed in residential care. And obviously, as his mum, she wants to be the one to care for him. And as a final blow, her council house is one specifically for families, so if she loses Simon she fears she will also lose her home.
Tina is on benefits, and the list of things she needs to rectify in the house are beyond what she can afford. So she is now facing a situation where she may lose her son because she hasn't got enough money to fix her home.
She has also been told she can’t take him in her car anymore, as she needs a stronger harness for him. But the harness is £480, which she can't afford. His school is a 28 mile journey, so without being able to use her car, life becomes even more difficult.
This is a family who are going through a very difficult time and we want to show them some kindness by giving Tina a chance to prove she can provide a safe environment for Simon.