Georgie was referred to PROMISEworks by the Parent and Family Support Advisor at his school. He was displaying data-heightened emotions and difficult behaviour in lessons.

His birth father committed suicide when he was seven. He had also been physically chastised by one of his mother’s subsequent partners. He often talked about not having a future and ending up “…just like my dad”.

Georgie felt it necessary to make and keep a large stick with nails in so that he could protect his family if anyone broke in or threatened them. He was hyper-vigilant and frightened most of the time. He had an older and younger sibling, both with autism, who took up a large amount of his mother’s time. This was a typical case of a child carrying the stress of his family.

The mentor encouraged Georgie to talk to his mother about his feelings and for the first time he told her about his plans to defend her, if necessary.

The approach has led to significant improvements in the relationship between Georgie and his mother and represents an example of how mentors can have a positive influence on parenting.

He also talked to his mentor about the problems he was having at school. She told Georgie that she knew one of his teachers and how kind he was. They spoke to the teacher and he happily agreed to be someone that Georgie could approach and talk to during the day if he was struggling with his emotions. This has given Georgie some “real time” support in school and has helped noticeably.

Their relationship is well established and all recognise the positive improvements for Georgie and his family. The key impact is that Georgie has changed from being a child in considerable need of therapy and counselling and at risk of suffering mental health problems, to someone who is now able to learn and focus more on his development and plans for the future. His family life is more stable and his trust in others has increased, all as result of having a committed, supportive and sustained mentoring relationship.