In 2017, Pause worked with BBC4 on a documentary called Child in Mind. It followed three of our Pause Participants and their Practitioners in Hull and included some beautiful original poetry from the award-winning Simon Armitage. Lyndsey’s Poem below illustrates the impact of Pause in her life.
Then one day you come to the edge,
stand on the shore
wondering how much further,
how much more?
There’s land on the far side
and light in the distance
beyond the muddy waves and the grey tide…
But a void in between,
something vast and vague,
as fast and as cold as a river,
as wide and as deep as the sea.
And you can’t cross it alone,
your spirit weakened by all the punches and slaps,
all the hooks and jabs
and bites and kicks,
mood swings making the other horizon wobble and tilt,
your brain flooded with guilt.
And you bear such a load,
carry so much luggage and baggage in tow,
a boy and three daughters, the effort
of keeping their heads above water,
watching them slipping away,
their absence a huge stone
pulling you under and down.
How can something you can’t hold and can’t touch
be so heavy? How can it weigh so much?
can get stuck in this town,
out here on her own. A woman can drown.
Or she can halt.
Wait for a moment or two
or a year or so,
stand on the brink
letting her dreams coast,
letting her soul float,
letting her mind breathe,
letting her body think.
“Pause intervention is significantly effective at meeting its aims and the analysis of potential cost savings suggests it is also likely to be highly cost beneficial.”
An evaluation commissioned by the Department for Education’s Innovation Fund found Pause to be an extremely effective programme that has a positive and significant impact and saves money.
Highlights from the report include:
- Pause has supported 137 women – without the intervention of Pause, this group of women would have been likely to have had 27 more children taken into care per year at a cost of over £1.5 million a year to the tax payer.
- If every women in England who had had two or more children removed could work with Pause, more than £2.5 billion could be saved over the five years.
- Every £1 invested in Pause is yielding a return of a minimum of £9 over five years.
- Dramatic improvement in the health and well-bring of Pause women who complete the programme.
Analysis from the recent OPCIT report show that the outcomes of Pause intervention demonstrates an improvement in key social issues affecting the women Pause works with. These include:
- Substance misuse – 51% of Pause Participants had a drug misuse problem and 20% had an alcohol misuse problem – 57% of Pause women had a substance misuse problem overall. This was stabilised or reduced for 65% of these women.
- Domestic violence – 44% of Pause Participants had domestic violence issues. This was improved for 88% of these women.
- Mental health – 83% of Pause Participants had mental health issues. This was improved for 73% of these women.
- Quality contact with their children – 73% of Pause Participants did not have consistent and good quality contact with their removed children. This was improved for 60% of these women.
- Housing issues – 65% of Pause Participants had housing issues, 73% of these had a more stable housing situation after the programme.
- Engagement with training/education/volunteering/employment – 63% of Pause Participants identified these as goals at the start. This was achieved for 89% of these women.
- Accessing relevant support – only 19% of Pause Participants were accessing support from relevant specialist services (e.g. drug and alcohol, mental health, domestic violence) at the start on a regular consistent basis if required. This figure had risen to 67% by the end of the programme.
Pause Chief Executive Jules Hillier said:
“Pause helps women put in place strong foundations on which they can build a more positive future for themselves. Pause has supported 137 women – without the intervention of Pause, this group of women would have been likely to have had 27 more children taken into care per year at a cost of over £1.5 million a year to the taxpayer.
“Pause is helping to break some of these trans-generational cycles as well as giving vulnerable women a sense of self-worth with significant improvements on tackling substance abuse, domestic violence and mental health, as well as improving contact with children and access to services, housing and training.”
In her own words: a Pause Participants tells her story
Lisa was in a violent relationship. Even when her children were taken into care, she couldn’t break the cycle. Working with Pause, she has been able to build her self-esteem and her confidence and now feels stronger to face the future.