Who we are
Action for Change is a service for birth parents whose children have been removed from their care. We recognise that parents may need support that is focussed on them following proceedings, this can be emotional or practical support. We also provide time and space for parents to consider how they might want things to be different for themselves in the future. Our key hope is that parents do not experience the trauma of further proceedings.
We work across Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Westminster. We are a small team of practitioners, offering both therapeutic and practical support to parents one to one and through our groups.
Who we work with
Action for Change works with parents who have had a child or children removed permanently from their care by Children’s Services in Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea or Westminster, and the parent is currently a resident in one of the three boroughs. We work with both mothers and fathers individually, and with couples.
We can work with parents either:
- After a final order has been made regarding their child or children
- During pregnancy with women who have had a child removed from their care previously
How we work
Our approach is consent based, person centred, and non-judgemental. This means that we work with clients if and when they feel that we are the right service for them. Clients also set goals with their worker, and so that support is tailored to their specific needs and hopes. Finally, we understand that the reasons leading to removal are varied and complex, and we will work with parents at their pace to address those challenges. We typically work with parents for one to two years.
Our support to birth parents following permanent removal of the child/children from their care covers three general areas:
Practical support: this may include accessing sexual health services and contraception, supporting parents with housing issues or in avoiding potential homelessness, and in considering and accessing support from external agencies, such as domestic violence support, drug services, mental health services, and other services that may benefit parents.
Working with professionals: in particular, supporting parents in their relationship with children’s social care around contact, letterbox exchange or decisions made about their child while in care. However, we may also coordinate meetings or mediate between the parent and other professionals and services in their life.
Emotional and Therapeutic Support: to support a parent’s wellbeing; particularly mental and emotional health, building positive relationships and support networks. This may also include helping parents to understand the reasons for removal and reflective work around the client’s own experiences and life stories. We also facilitate groups and peer mentoring sessions so that parents, who would like to, can meet and talk with others with this shared experience.
When working with parents during pregnancy we can support parents to address the concerns that led to older children being removed and demonstrate their capacity to change. We hope that with support parents can achieve a different outcome for their child.
For more information, email us.