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Sofia's story - coping with change after being evicted

Sofia's story - coping with change after being evicted

After being evicted from her house, eight-year-old Sofia was struggling to cope with changes in her life. A teacher saw that Sofia wasn’t herself and referred her to a counsellor to get support. Her mum tells her story.

When my daughter Sofia was eight, we lost our home. Sofia witnessed the bailiffs coming round to repossess our flat. The landlord was angry that she had stuck some stickers onto one of the doors, and said the flat was not in good enough repair. Sofia knelt on the floor to try to remove the stickers, worried that she had got me into trouble. It was traumatic.

We had to move in with friends who lived further away. Sofia loved her school and I decided I would do everything I could to keep her there. We would travel nearly two hours each way to get her to school. Sofia was tired and would often doze on the train, and I worried that it was too much for her, but she begged me not to change schools.

It had an impact on her, though - she was sad and didn't seem herself. Everything happened so fast. She struggled to share a room with two other people at the new flat. She is an only child and was used to her things being organised in her own space. In school, her teacher said she was distracted and distant. Her grades were also suffering. She was rocking herself back and forth in class, which worried me. So when her teacher suggested I speak to the Place2Be School Project Manager, I was ready to try anything.

Sofia saw her counsellor for just over a year, and afterwards there was a big change in her. She was more settled with her friends. Her grades went up also. She stopped rocking, and she wasn't scared anymore. The dreams where a man was climbing into the flat to take her away stopped.

I was so pleased Place2Be was at the school. Sofia is my first priority, and knowing she was not scared anymore was everything to me. She brought home her box full of models and paintings she had made during her sessions – miniature cakes in boxes and decorations for a restaurant she planned to open. Her box was labelled “safe” and “confidential”. She was very proud of it.

The Place2Be School Project Manager supported me in other ways too. I could chat to her about things, and she told me about an organisation that gives housing advice.

Things are going well for us now. My daughter is at secondary school, and loves it. She has made lots of friends. We also have a new flat back in our neighbourhood. Now that I am not worried about her, I am able to concentrate on other things. I’ve been promoted at work and have received a pay rise, so money is not so tight anymore.

Names in case studies may be changed to protect the identities of families and children. Photos used are for representative purposes only.