When the Bough Breaks: An independent survey into families’ perceptions of One Hundred Hours keyworker service (1994). Free PDF

By Sheila West, BA, CQSW in 1994


From the back cover:

One Hundred Hours has pioneered a new service in Yorkshire for families who have a new baby with serious brain damage. It offers emotional support and practical help to the parents in their own home as soon as possible after discovery of the problem.

In this independent survey Sheila West has interviewed thirteen families who used the service in its first two years. She finds that the parents feel they have benefited from the service and that the support offered was not available to them elsewhere.

The major regret the parents voice is that they did not learn about One Hundred Hours sooner. Their recommendation for development of the service is that it should be made available to all families at the point of diagnosis.

“I found it very hard working with the child in those early months – every time I tried to do something it I was just confirmed that things were pretty grim.”

“The service helped us clarify the child’s needs – because we didn’t know anything about the world of disability.”

“You need someone to contact just to tell them how awful you feel about having a handicapped child.”

- Parents’ comments


Peter Limbrick writes: One Hundred Hours was a small voluntary organisation in the UK that pioneered keyworker support for babies and pre-school children who had significant challenges to their development and learning. At that time in the 1990s there was almost no awareness in statutory services that parents had emotional needs or that there was a need for family support. A deeper survey over a longer period is ‘The Keyworker: A practical guide’ by Gudrun Limbrick-Spencer in 2001. This is available from Interconnections.


Free PDF of When the Bough Breaks survey:


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Image © M Jirankova-Limbrick 2000



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