Alex was refusing to stay at nursery because he was struggling being separated from his mother. Alex’s parents were also concerned about his poor diet. The family speaks Portuguese, Alex’s mother did not speak any English. The staff at school suggested the Red Hen support and the family was keen for a referral to be made. Home school worker Maria is a Portuguese native speaker and she was able to support this family at this challenging time.
Alex’s mother was pleased that she was able to get the parenting support in her language. She explained: ‘Alex’s behaviour used to be good but since his brother was born his behaviour became tricky. He is angry, he shouts and he hits his brother.’
Maria supported Alex with health appointments regarding his poor diet, eczema and asthma. The family was able to access specialist health support and with the professional recommendations, the family felt more confident, by knowing what to do to better support Alex’s needs. Maria got the health visitor involved to support the family with potty training and breastfeeding issues. Alex’s mother explained: ‘Thanks to Maria I was able to receive immediate support from the health visitor, Maria kindly volunteer to help with interpreting at these visits.’
This family would have struggled to access this services without the Red Hen involvement, who made it easier to access support and assist with appointments. Maria was able to help Alex’s parents to manage the children’s tantrums. It was not easy for Alex’s mother to implement the new strategies, her health was not good and she had no family support.
‘Maria gave us pictures with rules to use at home, this helped a lot with communication, especially with my 2 year old boy. I started doing the time out and children understood better what is right and what is wrong. Children’s behaviour can still be tricky, lots of sibling rivalry (1 year gap between them) but I feel more in control and I am more firm with the children.’ With everyone’s perseverance and lots of encouragement from the worker, things got better.
Maria encouraged Alex’s mother to attend English classes and she supported her with her registration. Alex’s mother was anxious and nervous but she was brave and completed the set of classes, she made a good friend there. This family has attended The Red Hen Coffee mornings and they went on the Thetford Trip. These social activities are very important to this family.
The school nursery teachers worked closely with the Red Hen, so communication was regular and positive between parents and school, without misunderstandings. ‘Alex has made a massive amount of progress this year, considering where his development levels were when he arrived (he wasn’t toilet trained and struggled to separate from mum). He now is at age appropriate level in all areas of the curriculum and he has lots of
friends. Alex is kind and helpful – he has a lovely nature. Thanks for the help’. School’s SENCo.
‘I am still attending English classes and I have made new friends. I miss Maria coming round, but I know I can ring her if I need support and advice.’