This blog is part of TheSprout’s Supporting Young Cardiffians campaign. It tells the story of 18-year-old Ellen, who got support from the Family Help Team, part of Cardiff Family Advice and Support service.
Why did you contact the Cardiff Family Gateway?
Ellen had just told the police that she had been sexually assaulted by her ex-partner. At the time, she had been referred to the SARC Unit but she said she didn’t have any support from anyone and felt extremely “alone and sad, with no one to talk to.” She heard about CFAS after the police had referred her for some support.
She was living with her grandparents when she reached out for support to CFAS. Her grandmother encouraged her to speak with a Family Help Advisor to help empower her to be more independent.
What support did you receive?
Ellen explained that she finally had someone that listened to her and actually cared about how she felt. She explained that she had lots of emotional support from one of the Family Help Advisors who helped her by:
- Teaching her breathing techniques
- Listening to her traumatic experiences
- Letting her communicate over text rather than call
- Helping her with college and updating her CV
How has the support provided by CFAS helped you and your family?
If the Family Help Advisor wasn’t there, Ellen said her depression would have been a lot worse.
She stated that the advisor gave her the confidence to tell her family (mum in particular) to stop putting pressure on her to fix her mother’s problems. Ellen explained that she’s been able to put boundaries in place with her family and remove herself from situation’s that she doesn’t need to get involved in.
What advice would you give to a young person going through similar challenges?
Ellen would recommend CFAS and explained that her Family Help Advisor really helped her and that other services haven’t been as helpful. She felt that the Family Help Advisor actually cared about how she was feeling and regularly checked in on her.
This is a true story from a young person who accessed help from Cardiff Family Advice and Support service. To respect the privacy of the young people who shared their stories with us, we have changed their names to keep them anonymous. To read more stories about how CFAS has helped young people and their families, click here.