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Fictional Examples to Help Illustrate When We Might Be Needed

Sue is new to the area. She has 2 young children, a boy aged 2 and a baby girl aged 4 months. Her husband commutes 35 miles to work in their only car, leaving home early and returning late.

Mandy looks calm on the outside, but inside she’s screaming. " I feel like I’m going mad" she says, " but all the other parents I see are coping just fine. When I go out, I just hope no-one asks me how I am."

Tracy’s mum doesn’t understand why Tracy is so tearful, she has everything - a beautiful home, a bonny baby, a loving husband. Yet, Tracy feels overwhelmed, guilty, exhausted and a failure. She can’t talk to her mother about her feelings.

David injured his back and no longer works. He looks after the children while his wife goes out to work. he’s tried the local Parent and Toddler Group, but feels very out of place. He feels very isolated.

Chris and Craig are exhausted trying to meet the demands of their 2 young children. Daisy is 3 and having cerebral palsy means she can’t walk. Baby Chloe is teething so not sleeping well. They have to carry both children everywhere.

Zoe’s baby was born the day before Zoe’s 17th birthday, 2 years ago. They live together in hostel accommodation on the outskirts of a village, waiting to be rehoused. Zoe’s friends live in Winchester and enjoy a teenager’s lifestyle.

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Intervening earlier with troubled families can not only prevent children and their parents falling into a cycle of deprivation, anti-social behaviour and poverty but can save thousands if not millions of pounds in the longer term.

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather