"My health visitors were concerned about my daughter not gaining weight and social services got involved because we didn’t have basic furniture or kitchen appliances in our council house. I got more and more desperate and angry; I felt like the authorities were judging me but no one gave me any support. Some of the midwives and the health visitors that came assumed things about me and my baby without knowing the true story. When the time came to be signed off by social services, I was told that I had been found to be a ‘danger to my own child’ because I had anger issues. I would never do anything to hurt her but I was terrified my daughter would be taken away. I was really worried about money too. My partner is a student and we didn’t think we could get any benefits. Even though we were allowed council tax benefit, we lost the forms about it and didn’t pay so the council threatened to evict us.

Social services referred us to Action for Children’s ‘Young Families’ service and that’s where we met Sophie.

She helped us apply for benefits, helped us with the council and organised help from food banks so we could eat. I’d been stuck in the same room for months and Sophie helped me to break out and to meet other people at a local mums’ group. It was nerve-wracking the first time – really awkward – but I still go on a Wednesday and that’s really nice.

Whenever we had a problem, Sophie would be there to help us through it. Before we had her, we were stuck between a rock and a hard place – she’s been a star. Our future is a lot brighter than it was a couple of months ago – I’m even going to university to study health and social care soon.”

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