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As part of our work on the Family Review, we asked families to contribute to our research by sharing their Family Profile – a snapshot of what families means to them, their strengths, the challenges they may have experienced, how they like to spend their time and the support that they value the most.

Read our next three profiles below:

I am a mum to 3 sons aged between 7 and 14 and we live with my husband and our dog.  We work together to make a happy loving home where we are supportive of each other. We value time together, between work and children’s activities we don’t always get a lot of time but we try to have at least one day or evening as family time.  Sometimes my teenager falls out with friends and how social media etc is used which makes situations worse is a challenge. My husband is also struggling with anxiety and depression and trying to make sure this doesn’t impact on the children is difficult.  Time spent together and talking things through has helped us to cope with these challenges. The impact of them is recognising the importance of boundaries and consequences, especially as children get older as well as having respect for those with mental health difficulties.  Whilst we haven’t used any support services I am aware they are there if we needed them.
I am a father to three children. We have two rabbits, and then also family back in Africa where I originally come from.  We have a close relationship – I am no longer with their mother, which has been a long, stressful journey over the years. But I won’t give up, despite the challenges. I am the role model to my children; my responsibility is to ensure they are well-looked after and happy, and have a good education.  I went through a terrible experience with a local Children’s Trust – the social worker fabricated a lot of inaccurate information, which led to them being dismissed from the case because of the extraordinary inconsistencies. This eventually led me to having very uncomfortable supervised contact with the kids. The matter was with the court for more than three years, and I spent over £40,000. I approached the local authority, made an official complaint, which they brushed under the carpet.  This obviously had a corrosive impact on us because in the first instant the case shouldn't have prolonged for over three years. Imagine children being put through such stress – the parental stress, and then financially, as I said, I spend almost £40,000 purely because they didn't get it right from the outset. And even when I complained, nothing was done about it. So the impact could not have been anymore severe. I just feel so bad about it.
I am a mother to two primary school aged children. We live with my partner and our dog.  Childcare costs are killing us. We get a certain amount of money towards it from tax credits a month, but the cost of childcare exceeds that, and I earn less than a grand a month because I work three full days a week for the NHS.  We have no grandparents able to help – my mum is in a bungalow as she can’t manage the stairs, so she wouldn’t be able to look after my four-year old. My father is deceased, and my partner’s mother lives too far away. We have recently been told to pay some of the tax credits back as my partner earned a little more money last year – so we are now in debt, as well as struggling to pay some bills.  I don’t feel like anything can help – I get home from work, eat a tin of soup or something else cheap and cheerful, and once the kids are asleep I go to bed. I leave the house for work at 7am, so am up before 6am to get myself and the kids ready. We aren’t a lazy family – we both work but its low income. I worked all the way through the pandemic for the NHS, so its just sad that its come to this.  The school holidays are hard – a lot of the free things available are no good to us as they run from 10-2pm. Given I leave for work at 7am, I don’t have time to drop them and then pick them up again. On my day off recently, we went to a fair ground in town, but the hook-a-duck was £5 each so I couldn’t afford anything more, which made the kids cry. I felt awful, and then we had a long bus journey home. I don’t drive, so thankfully I don’t have to worry about petrol prices, but then I can’t get to the cheaper shops like B&M or Aldi as there are no direct bus routes. I’m also worried about the heating and if I can get any Christmas presents for the children.

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