Case Studies (names changed to protect confidentiality and identity).
Below we have outlined a couple of case studies to outline to real young people some of the work we have done and are able to do with the young people we care for and look after – whether their needs arise from criminal exploitation, gangs, self-harm, abuse, stepping down from secure care or learning disability, we have a range of expertise and experience that enable us to offer real quality in our care.
Jon arrived at the home in summer 2010. Jon had previously been a high-ranking gang member of a prominent gang in the London area. Prior to being in the gang Jon had lived in the Ivory Coast and witnessed atrocities in the civil war there before escaping the country to come to the UK to live. Jon was involved in criminality and was criminally exploited whilst in the gang and whilst living in London.
When Jon arrived at the home, he enjoyed the cultural diversity the home offered but was very suspicious of the staff team. Over time, the staff formed strong attachments with him that allowed the home to work with him to identify his own aspirations and abilities. Direct work was done with Jon to provide him with the tools to empower him to live free from criminality and gang involvement. Jon settled in well and re-engaged in education, which was something he had not ever fully engaged in previously, improving his skills such as reading and thereby his confidence. Jon also joined a local football team and he excelled, Jon built up friendships within the local community and he began working part-time in a clothes shop in the city centre. Jon, based on developing trusting relationships and engaging in the local community, began to develop self-confidence. Jon was able to express that he enjoyed living free from the fear and exploitation that comes as part of being a gang member. Over time Jon began to develop skills whereby he would mentor younger residents who were also affected by gang activity and this had a positive effect on younger residents.
The home supported Jon through to independent living in Merseyside. Since Jon lived independently he returned to the home often and would mentor younger residents. Jon gained full-time work in the Liverpool area and to date, he remains in employment and still resides in Merseyside.
Claire moved to Wayside spring 2015 from her previous care home due to risks to staff and other young people of multiple allegations (often retracted), assault and sexualised behaviour.
Claire had not been afforded safe and consistent boundaries and routines; leading to an inability to establish appropriate attachments with primary carers. Claire struggled to regulate her own emotions and was unable to maintain appropriate relationships with adults and peers. Claire had diagnoses of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Dyspraxia (a developmental co-ordination disorder, which affects basic motor skills such as walking or riding a bike and fine motor skills such as writing. It can also lead to problems with language, perception, and thought.
Following a visit to see Claire, she outlined her goal to return back to her home town to be closer to her family and eventually return home to mum. We committed to working with her on that and drew up a comprehensive care plan as to what was needed to make that possible based on assessments from our clinical and educational teams, which identified strategies that could be used to support Claire. Claire had suffered a history of neglect and had been privy to traumatising domestic incidents within her home environment. Claire was a young girl who very much wanted to be in control of her life, however, at that point in time, she did not have the skills needed to do this safely. Claire suffered low self-esteem and could become confrontational when placed in situations she could not control.
Claire and staff worked daily on building skills, alongside our in-house therapist in order to empower and equip Claire to have a sense of control; within a safe environment where she was encouraged to make safe choices. Choices however needed to be kept manageable for her as too many choices quickly overwhelmed her. Staff within the home showed Claire consistent patient nurture and care. For Claire, this was the turning point to start again to form attachments.
Claire worked through tough times but never lost sight of her end goal, consistent approach, and positive boundary setting helped Claire, feel safe and secure. Through a positive bond with keyworkers and preferred people, Claire was empowered with a sense of belonging and the progress really began to show when staffing levels were reduced, incidents and allegations began to become few and far between.
Claire reached her goal and returned back to her home town to be closer to her family and friends.