We provide accommodation in Cherry Blossom Cottage (CBC), our Supported Temporary Accommodation (STA) which is staffed 24 hours per day, 365 days per year and offers intensive temporary supported accommodation for up to four pregnant women and new mothers and their babies. In Anew we create the most nurturing and safe environment possible, women often report to staff that when they arrive at the cottage, they “feel safe and can begin to enjoy their pregnancy.” The environment we create reduces mother’s stress, promotes well-being and reduces negative impact on her unborn baby.
During their stay, women are supported to attend important ante and post-natal appointments as this can be extremely difficult and overwhelming when facing and experiencing homelessness. Each woman is allocated a keyworker who offers intense and specific support, including where possible accompaniment to essential appointments.
Keyworkers liaise closely with maternity hospitals, medical social workers and PHN’s. This ensures continuity of care as well as reducing missed appointments for both mother and baby. Mothers are supported to attend immunisation appointments, developmental check-ups reducing the likelihood of childhood illnesses and further medical needs.
In line with Tusla’s Supporting Parents: A National Model of Parenting Support, staff work closely with all the women to build on existing strengths and support positive parenting. For parents of children at risk of entering care, staff work with the women to maintain guardianship on an individualised basis with child protection as a top priority.
While resident in the cottage the women receive the following supports which are not available in other homeless accommodation such as hubs and hostels:
- Intense person-centred key working on one-to-one basis.
- Evidence-based support planning in collaboration with residents.
- Life skills – pregnancy and baby care, budgeting, relationships and cooking.
- Support with physical and mental health – including referrals to Maternity Mental Health as well as Anew’s Counselling Service.
- Bespoke programmes for women with children in care.
- Housing support – eligibility, HAP, other accommodation options and tenancy sustainment.
- Peer support programmes.
- Liaising closely with other relevant professionals and stakeholders such as Public Health Nurses, Tusla Social Workers, Local Authorities, and other housing bodies.
In 2021 we provided accommodation and intense supports to 18 women with an average stay of three months and 14 women moving onto HHAP properties. The other four women moved to Family Hubs for various reason including lack of move on options. The women were supported in their new homes by Anew’s Tusla Funded Family Support Workers.