A Parent's Story
Our goal is always to keep families together when it is in the best interest of the child. That’s why we love hearing the stories of those who have had a successful assessment with us. Read some of them below by clicking the pictures:
I came to Bonner house for an assessment because of my past. My last two children were removed from my care so this was my only chance of being able to go home with my new baby and prove that I could be a good mum. I was scared about going to stay there at first and thought that it would feel like a prison but it really was not that bad at all. The staff were nice when I arrived and helped me to carry all my bags, I had a lot.
I ended up enjoying my time being assessed and attended lots of courses that helped me to understand how to become a better parent. I learnt a lot from the freedom project and how domestic violence affects children. There was also time to attend stay and play sessions with my baby and this was always good fun and different every week. I feel that I am a much better parent now and this is because of the time that I spent at Bonner house, I was always able to ask staff when I was unsure of things and this has helped me to gain confidence in how to be a mum. I now concentrate on my baby and am not influenced by other like I used to be.
Without Bonner house my baby would have been taken away from me and I would not have had the opportunity to be a mum.
If I had to give advice to a parent about to have an assessment I would tell them to concentrate on their baby and not other residents. Remember going home with your baby is all that matters. Also ask staff if you need help they will help and support you.
We were asked to come to Bonner House a few weeks before I was due to give birth, due to domestic abuse in our relationship. Although we knew our relationship was not healthy, we didn’t quite fully accept that we had put ourselves into the position we were in and were facing loosing our daughter.
During the 12 week assessment we were able to complete different courses and “sessions” on multiple topics that helped us be the parents that we are today! We were also able to access Relate Counselling which helped us understand each other better.
Supervision levels for us started off very high due to concerns social services had, but after proving ourselves they gradually reduced and by the end of the assessment the supervision levels were similar to what they would be at home.
Our biggest regret is looking at reviews online and painting a negative picture in our heads of the place before we even arrived, because honestly it isn’t bad at all. Of course we wanted to be in our own home but being at Bonner House made it possible for all 3 of us to go home together!
Bonner House was our last chance of going home with our baby, and with all the support and guidance from our Team Case Manager, Link Workers and all the other staff-we all left together, we have been home for 3 months and the ICO is being discharged next month!
I enjoyed my Assessment and found the staff to be helpful and supportive during my time at D/L. Things were explained clearly to me and staff showed me the local amenities such as parks and shops that I would be able to use during my stay. I didn’t know what to expect but I gained up to date knowledge in a supportive environment to help me care for my baby. Dudley lodge has good facilities and I always enjoyed spending time in the play room and the garden with my baby.
If I had to offer any advice to someone about to come to Dudley lodge for an Assessment I would tell them to try to listen to the staff because they are here to help. It’s not a criticism and you could learn so much.
‘We found coming here hard but once we got to know staff we were so happy that this was a good choice for us. We felt welcomed by all the staff members. We would definitely recommend Bonner House’. - Parent staying at Bonner House - added January 2021.
"Thank you and to the staff for not judging me and just getting to know me. I learnt so much from you, so thank you for taking the time out to teach me. I will definitely keep in touch with you all, you all are a big part of our lives and I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to work with you all. We will miss you." - A message from a Parent once they had left our Coventry Centre - added December 2020.
A Parent's Timeline of being at Bonner House
What happens at Bonner House?
- Staff will help support you and your child/children. This includes day-to-day sessions and activities to boost your confidence as a parent.
- Playtime Interaction – this helps boost your bond with your child.
- Not every parent has a lot of money so don’t feel ashamed if you can’t buy toys for your child as interaction is important.
What are sessions?
This is a chance to learn new things and a chance to improve. Some sessions will involve things that some people won’t feel comfortable in opening up about so if you are afraid to open up then you won’t be judged as your past is your past.
Sessions can be changed to suit your own needs – my session was changed into Disney to learn different types of risks. This helped as it made the session more fun to do and helped me have a better understanding.
Activities with your child
- Day to day basic care
- When being at Bonner House you will need to undergo basic care needs with your child. This can include:
- Bottles/others ways of feed/winding/burping
- Nappy changes
- Basic interaction/bonding
- Bathing/top and tail
Sometimes with staff observing you this can be overwhelming and nervous. They are not there to judge you so don’t feel afraid. They will advise and support as much as they can. It’s okay to be worried, not every baby is easy, some are harder than others.
The main thing is not to worry about other people’s assessments/business and just focus on your own assessment.