This good News story has been shared by Jane Moules, Troubled Families Employment Advisor:
Michelle was referred to me by her Family Intervention Worker in November 2016. She had been claiming Employment Support Allowance for anxiety and depression and was on anti-depressants prescribed by her GP. Michelle failed to attend our first meeting booked in at the Jobcentre so I arranged a joint home visit with her FIW in January 2017. At this visit I discovered that Michelle had not worked for about 8 years and did not have a CV. She was also subject to the benefit cap which meant that she was in arrears with her rent and was at threat of eviction. She was interested in working with children or with the elderly in a residential care setting. We discussed the implications of working in care, the long shifts, the fact that Michelle would need training and the need for childcare for her 2 youngest daughters. Michelle was adamant that this was what she wanted to do so I contacted a residential care home in Hatfield near to where Michelle lived and asked about their recruiting procedures. I had previously worked with BUPA care and knew that they trained their own care assistants. The manager sent me an application form and Michelle met me in the jobcentre where we completed the form together. After completing the form I contacted the manager of the home to arrange an interview for Michelle. Michelle was extremely nervous, but I went through some interview questions beforehand which helped enormously. I sat in on the interview where Michelle did very well and managed to answer all of the questions she was asked. The Manager offered Michelle the job on the spot and explained that she would have to apply for her DBS check on line and that they would arrange a training course for her. After about 3 weeks Michelle was sent on a training course in Watford, which she was clearly anxious about attending. However, the company provided a taxi for the 4 day course, and Michelle attended every day. Finally, after another 3 weeks, on March 17th 2017 Michelle started work 22 hours (2 days) a week, and she is sill there now. I still have regular contact with Michelle, just to ensure her that everything is going ok. I have noticed that Michelle has become more confident since she started work and is proud to be a good role model for her daughters.