John contacted the Family Relationship Centre for help. His ex-partner Kylie wouldn't let him see their 8 year old child Sam, because John did not have a suitable place to live.
John and Kylie agreed to work on this issue. First they attended the Parenting After Separation Workshop. It was here that Kylie had her "aha" moment and came to the realisation that it was very important for Sam to develop a relationship with his Dad.
At the follow-up Family Dispute Resolution session they developed a plan to find a suitable place where John and Sam could spend time together. John and Kylie now have open lines of communication, are able to talk regularly and arrange for John to spend regular time with Sam. John was even working with ac.care's accommodation services on finding appropriate housing.
14 year old Crystal had run away in a state of distress because of unbearable stress and endless arguments with her parents. She returned home but was thinking of running again. Her Mum too was distressed and deeply concerned about her daughter's wellbeing.
We addressed parenting strategies with her Mum, as well as practicing some of the tried and true standards: love, patience and consistency.
The focus then switched to Crystal, encouraging her to contemplate the positive contributions she brought to the family. Crystal and her parents developed a refreshingly new view of their love and support for each other.
Crystal's Mum also embraced the opportunity for change and together she and her daughter agreed to regular outings, shopping, going for a walk in the evening or just an occasional catch up. The disruptive spirit lifted like a veil. Our work with the family was over three weeks from referral to amicable family agreement. Seven months on and family members are enjoying each others company and most importantly Crystal has no thoughts of running away.
On rare occasions it is the magic bullet question that can turn things around.
Our youth worker and guitar virtuoso Mark was asked to speak to Josh in Year 9 about his highly disruptive behaviour in class. As an introduction Mark sent Josh a curved ball and asked, "Josh, why do you think I'm here?" Josh, caught a little on the back foot said he thought Mark was there to talk to him about unacceptable behaviour. Josh then disclosed that he hated being in trouble all the time and was quite ready to accept change. As the conversation continued Josh developed some of his own strategies. Subsequently Josh was able to make changes which turned out to be most effective. Today he is one of the top students in his year and enjoying the newly acquired status.
* Note all names changed to protect clients' privacy