Residential Child Care Case Study
At Five Rivers we believe that every child should have access to services appropriate to their
individual needs, creating an environment where the child is firmly at the centre of the wheel – a wheel of interlocking and mutually-supportive services, which are underpinned by a therapeutic approach and service.
Lucy needed to have the experience of being looked after on a solo basis initially, being introduced to only a small core team to work with her intensively in order to reduce her fears and anxieties. These could be expressed in a number of extreme ways involving severe violence directed at herself, objects and others.
Unable to cope with leaving the house and attending mainstream education, she was supported to build bridges with an education support worker from our local specialist school.
After a period of stabilisation where it became clear she was able to tolerate the idea of expanding her world to include another child, following a series of placement meetings and
risk assessments a further placement was made alongside her. And therapeutic work began.
The work of the home and school integrated their responses to Lucy so that she experienced a consistency in both environments which was less confusing for her.
After a period of time the psychological support to the teams was focused on a series of goals; reducing her disabling levels of anxiety, creating a range of incentivised behavioural change through rewards, building more lasting relationships with the adults helping look after her. This was underpinned by direct therapeutic work with Lucy, psychological support to the team around the child in both the care and the education environment and regular intense reviews of all aspects of her care.
Outcomes for Lucy:
- Emotional stabilisation enabling her to review her life without lapsing into despair or overwhelming fear
- New coping mechanisms that don’t involve violence and include reflection, and an ability to discuss alternative courses of action and to implement them
- An interest and curiosity in the outside world, to the extent that she is attending mainstream school
- An ability to relate to others in a trusting and optimistic way to the extent that she is able to live within a foster family
This is a remarkable achievement and Lucy continues to be supported on her journey by Five Rivers.
The above depicts a real Five Rivers case study. Names have been changed to protect the identities of the children and young people involved.
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