Jenny is a mother of four who, due to her own lack of proper parenting, has always had very low self-esteem and almost non-existent social skills. When Barnardos first met Jenny she was unable to carry on a short conversation or talk to school teachers or anyone in authority. She had a long history of serious domestic violence until she finally left her drug-affected husband.
As a parent it was important for Jenny to begin to realise her own worth and also her value to her children. She knew that she wanted a better future for her children but needed intensive help to achieve this. A worker from Barnardos Special Neighbours program visited Jenny regularly at home to help build up her parenting skills and give her some confidence in her mothering. Over time, Jenny has improved her social skills, she has managed her debt and has learnt to cook.
Most importantly, Jenny is now able to initiate a conversation with another person and takes a special pride in talking about her children. Jenny’s youngest daughter, who suffered greatly with separation anxiety at first, now attends school for four days a week and is no longer afraid to be parted from her mother during activities at Barnardos Community Centre.
Jenny’s children attend Barnardos vacation care and after school care, while she attends the weekly Barnardos mum’s group where she really enjoys helping other mothers to take their first steps on the road to a better life.