When we first met Katie in prison, she was very tearful and extremely nervous about how life in the community would be after spending 5 years in prison. Katie had four children, all of which had been taken into care. In addition to this, Katie had previously suffered abuse at the hands of a violent partner and her self-esteem and confidence had become extremely low.
Katie had very little support in the community and was concerned about the group of friends she’d had before going into prison, as they continued to use drugs and she did not want to return to her previous life. With absolutely no income, Katie was at high risk of becoming homeless upon release and terrified of what might happen.
Our Prison In-reach Caseworkers supported Katie through her release from prison and into the wider community. We managed to find some accommodation for Katie and provide some second hand items including a sofa, microwave and kitchen table with chairs which had been generously donated by the community.
We put a plan in place for Katie which included evening activities at home and courses at Anawim during the day, to remove temptation to seek out old friends and old habits. Katie is now engaging with our courses three times per week and regular group activities. One of these courses is focused on how to identify the signs of toxic relationships and is helping Katie to increase her confidence when it comes to choosing a partner and choosing friends. We have supported Katie to access benefits and she is now on a stable income, which has significantly improved her mental health. Katie is also accessing our parenting course and working hard to redevelop relationships with her children. She has been able to have supervised contact with her children at our onsite creche, and is looking forward to spending more time together as a family in the future.