L was referred to Integrated Plus in April 2021, after experiencing stress due to taking over the care of her two grandchildren. The Senior Social Prescribing Link Worker contacted L to explore things more and identify where Integrated Plus could offer some support.
L had been living on her own for years, as her children were now adults, so she was able to spend time doing things that she enjoyed. In October 2019, she received a call from Social Services asking if she would be able to take care of her grandchildren, due to safeguarding concerns that had been raised about them. L offered to do this, as she wanted to avoid her grandchildren ending up in care. This had a huge impact on L’s life. She no longer had as much time to herself and was now responsible for supporting two young children with additional needs, at a time in her life when she thought she would be able to spend time on herself.
One of L’s grandchildren had experienced trauma and was struggling to access support from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) after a previous allocated worker left and there was a delay to a new one being allocated. Integrated Plus contacted CAMHS and asked for L’s grandchild to be prioritised, considering he had been without support for such a long time and his mental health was deteriorating. CAMHS were able to contact L and her grandchild soon after and support was put in place.
During the initial conversation with L, she explained that taking over the care of her grandchildren had opened some ‘old wounds’ relating to her own childhood experiences. Integrated Plus and L discussed whether some short-term talking therapy would help with this, and L said she wanted to give this a go. Integrated Plus referred L to The Arts of Change for counselling and made regular calls to L to see how she was getting on with things.
Integrated Plus spoke to L in September. She explained that there have been profound changes since working with Integrated Plus. L said that the support she received through The Arts of Change had been ‘life changing’ and she felt like her ‘perspective had changed’ dramatically. L said it was good to have the opportunity to talk about things she hadn’t spoken about previously with anyone, and as a result, she felt ‘more settled’, ‘calmer’ and was ‘spending more quality time’ with her grandchildren. L said that she had made ‘lots of positive changes’, including stopping smoking and being more physically active. She said that her relationship with her grandchildren had improved, and she was also being stricter with her personal care. L said that even her grandchildren’s behaviour had improved, as they were accessing the support that they need, due to intervention from Integrated Plus and L being less stressed.
L said ‘Integrated Plus have helped me in more ways than they can imagine. More people need to know about Integrated Plus and the help that they can offer’.