Alex moved to the UK from Eastern Europe after a childhood full of abuse by family members and bullying from other children. During her teenage years Alex coped with the traumas in her past by using substances. This led to her living a very chaotic lifestyle and experiencing further traumas. During this chaotic period of her life Alex gave birth to her son, when her substance use reached a point where it was having a serious effect on her ability to parent she gave up the care of her son to his father and lost contact with him.

To fund her substance use Alex was involved in petty crime such as shoplifting, this led to a period in custody. During this time in custody Alex engaged with Re-Unite in-reach support workers as well as the 12 Step Programme.

On release Alex continued to work with Re-Unite floating support and was housed in a specialist supported housing programme for substance users who wish to follow an abstinence programme.

Alex was referred to short training courses, counselling and supported to continue with the 12 step programme as well as supported to access benefits for the first time. With Re-Unite children’s worker Alex made contact with her son’s father and support services to inform them of her abstinence and wish to regain contact with him, there was a positive response to this, however it was revealed that the family planned to move back to Eastern Europe with her son. Alex agreed to this move and decided this was something she also wanted to do so she could be re-united with her son permanently. This entailed Alex making contact with her family and rebuilding safe relationships.

With her Re-Unite Support Worker Alex started to make plans for her return to the country of her birth and all the memories and mixed feelings this included. Research was made into what support services would be available and contact made with these, planning how Alex would continue with the 12 Step programme was also taken up. Alex and her Re-Unite Support Worker also explored career and training opportunities which led Alex to consider working towards a counselling qualification and working in schools in a pastoral support role.

With six months of abstinence achieved, a plan for her future to work towards, funding to help her settle in once home and the relationship with her son growing Alex left the UK to travel home and be re-united with her son.


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