Peter had recently joined the school and his English was very limited. He was living with his grandparents in Lithuania for a while and his mother was able to arrange for him to join her in England. It was a big change for Peter at the age of 6 and he was missing his grandparents.
At school, Peter was finding very difficult to settle in, his behaviour was very challenging:
‘Peter was refusing to do simple tasks, even when tasks were explained via an interpreter and with the help of visuals aids. He was also hurting children by hitting them and running away, which was unsafe.’ Peter’s Teacher Assistant.
Peter’s mother, Kasia, told school that Peter cried at home for long periods of time, his behaviour was very tricky over meal times, and he was refusing to eat cooked meals. After Kasia spoken to the teacher, school was able to complete with Kasia a referral to The Red Hen Project.
Kasia explained that before The Red Hen Project involvement she felt very low: ‘I had no hope, I felt alone and very frustrated. My son was struggling at school and I didn’t know what to do, I felt helpless!’
The Red Hen Project worker was able to visit this family fortnightly. Together as a family they set house rules and put in place consequences if the rules were not followed. Peter was able to choose a daily reward so he was kept motivated. Peter loved a piece of cake or chocolate as a little treat, he also loved to get stickers on his reward chart. Kasia understood better Peter’s needs and she became more confident managing his tantrums. Kasia is now making sure she spends special time with Peter every day: they play games and read together.
‘Maria helped me a lot, she gave me great advice and helped me with housing difficulties. The housing issues were impacting on our well-being and Maria was able to help with the Home Link application. Maria listened to me, she valued me, and she cared about my family and our ongoing issues. Maria gave me hope. Maria was warm and kind and she made me feel good about myself again.’ Kasia.
‘Peter is now keen to learn and he is happier in school. Peter’s mother feels more confident as a parent, she has put into practice the suggestions given by the Red Hen Project and this had good outcomes.’ Peter’s Teacher Assistant.
Kasia describes how life is like now:
‘I feel very confident and happy with my life. I know that I can contact The Red Hen Project if I need advice and support. I made new friends, friends that I can trust. I have a better job and I am a good role model to my son.’
‘I have been to a few school coffee mornings with the Red Hen Project and Peter and I enjoyed The Red Hen Trip to Wicksteed Park, we had a fantastic day out. I feel very grateful to the support I had when I needed it most!’
Kasia and Peter are not their real names. This family chosen to remain anonyms, but they were happy to share their story so other parents feel encouraged to work with the Red Hen Project if they are in need of extra support.