I started at Trevi House in November 2015 alongside studying for a Ba(Hons) Social Work degree. My role as a support worker enabled me to gain some extremely helpful skills which have been transferrable to my degree. It has evidenced how stigmatised and marginalised this group of service-users are within society, often made to feel ashamed for using drugs whilst being a mother. This has reiterated the importance of developing a non-judgmental value base when supporting these women and has enabled me to develop unconditional positive regard for every resident and their child/children.

Working a mixture of evening, weekend and night shifts I have been able to support women during different hours throughout the day with parenting and through their detox. I get to witness some of the most amazing moments, whether it is a baby’s first smile, a child’s first steps, or see their cheeky personality and character develop. I have recognised how having their children on this journey with them provides huge motivation in their recovery and enables them to build a positive attachment without negative effects which separation could cause.

What I have found is that each resident has a powerful yet often heart-breaking story to tell, their life journey is remarkable. When they share this significant information with you, it makes your love and passion for the job grow and reminds you exactly why you entered this profession. My role as a support worker has been extremely varied from supporting with and promoting positive parenting, completing parenting observations which contribute towards reports for court and social workers, supporting mothers during detox, to medication administration, supervising day trips, supervising contacts and infection control. With such a varied role, I have undoubtedly come across a lot of positives but, also some challenges.

Detoxing often results in mothers finding it difficult to care for their children therefore, the support worker role is extremely crucial during this period of time to ensure the child is adequately cared for and safeguarded at all times. There are some mothers who are unable to finish treatment, whether they voluntarily leave or their stay at Trevi is terminated due to safeguarding concerns. Mothers are not always able to put their children’s needs first and this can result in the removal of their children from their care, which I found upsetting and challenging during my time at Trevi. This has been a huge learning curve for me as it has enabled me to build resilience and ensure that I maintain professional boundaries with mother’s which I will transfer with me to the social work profession.

It is amazing to see mothers building a better life for them and their children not only during their stay at Trevi but after. This is through accessing accommodation, education and groups during their recovery. We keep in contact with all our residents via social media but, also those who relocate to Plymouth continue to have strong links with Trevi and also the Sunflower project. At all hours of the day, staff will offer support and someone to talk to if they are contacted by ex-residents. I absolutely love being sent through videos and photos of children happy and healthy with their mothers once they have left Trevi. It is certainly a highlight and makes the job so worthwhile and rewarding.

It is really sad to see that Trevi House is one of its kind in the U.K, I have met some amazing individuals, residents and professionals and really hope it’s door continue to stay open to provide this support.

I started at Trevi House in November 2015 alongside studying for a Ba(Hons) Social Work degree. My role as a support worker enabled me to gain some extremely helpful skills which have been transferrable to my degree. It has evidenced how stigmatised and marginalised this group of service-users are within society, often made to feel ashamed for using drugs whilst being a mother. This has reiterated the importance of developing a non-judgmental value base when supporting these women and has enabled me to develop unconditional positive regard for every resident and their child/children.

Working a mixture of evening, weekend and night shifts I have been able to support women during different hours throughout the day with parenting and through their detox. I get to witness some of the most amazing moments, whether it is a baby’s first smile, a child’s first steps, or see their cheeky personality and character develop. I have recognised how having their children on this journey with them provides huge motivation in their recovery and enables them to build a positive attachment without negative effects which separation could cause.

What I have found is that each resident has a powerful yet often heart-breaking story to tell, their life journey is remarkable. When they share this significant information with you, it makes your love and passion for the job grow and reminds you exactly why you entered this profession. My role as a support worker has been extremely varied from supporting with and promoting positive parenting, completing parenting observations which contribute towards reports for court and social workers, supporting mothers during detox, to medication administration, supervising day trips, supervising contacts and infection control. With such a varied role, I have undoubtedly come across a lot of positives but, also some challenges.

Detoxing often results in mothers finding it difficult to care for their children therefore, the support worker role is extremely crucial during this period of time to ensure the child is adequately cared for and safeguarded at all times. There are some mothers who are unable to finish treatment, whether they voluntarily leave or their stay at Trevi is terminated due to safeguarding concerns. Mothers are not always able to put their children’s needs first and this can result in the removal of their children from their care, which I found upsetting and challenging during my time at Trevi. This has been a huge learning curve for me as it has enabled me to build resilience and ensure that I maintain professional boundaries with mother’s which I will transfer with me to the social work profession.

It is amazing to see mothers building a better life for them and their children not only during their stay at Trevi but after. This is through accessing accommodation, education and groups during their recovery. We keep in contact with all our residents via social media but, also those who relocate to Plymouth continue to have strong links with Trevi and also the Sunflower project. At all hours of the day, staff will offer support and someone to talk to if they are contacted by ex-residents. I absolutely love being sent through videos and photos of children happy and healthy with their mothers once they have left Trevi. It is certainly a highlight and makes the job so worthwhile and rewarding.

It is really sad to see that Trevi House is one of its kind in the U.K, I have met some amazing individuals, residents and professionals and really hope it’s door continue to stay open to provide this support.