When Emma joined us, her only experience of relationships had been of manipulation and abuse.
Emma could not consider her future beyond the chaotic and traumatic experiences she had lived through on a daily basis.
Emma had been a victim of criminal and sexual exploitation at the hands of an organised gang, and she needed intensive support to understand how to form positive relationships. Emma had missed out on some of the key building blocks in a child’s life, such as how to manage her health and her emotions and how to establish positive daily routines. We therefore patiently helped Emma to develop her personal and social skills and to develop her self-esteem.
With this intensive support, Emma began to thrive. Despite not attending school before coming to us, she was able to attend a local college and to begin a training course. She developed friendships in the community and began to feel a sense of belonging in the local area. She found some happiness and stability for the first time, and was able to start making plans for her future.
We helped Emma to assess what she really wanted to do when she moved on from us, and where she felt at home. As she wanted to stay in the local area, and she was ready for semi-independent living, we reached out to a local project that we knew would be able to provide Emma with the flexible and supportive environment that she needed. Working together with Emma’s Local Authority, we arranged for her to visit the project and to meet the director. Emma knew right away that she had found somewhere to call home. Emma moved on from us after a year into this project, where she remains happy and successful. Emma has now finished college, is in employment and has fully integrated into the community which she chose as her home.
Emma’s Local Authority were so pleased with the progress that Emma had made that they subsequently referred Emma’s younger brother, Mark, to us. Mark joined us at the end of last year, having been unsettled and unhappy in his previous home. Mark had been absent from education for several months and had been frequently missing from home. However, after a very short time with us he had transformed, from a confused and scared young man to a child who appreciated and enjoyed every opportunity he was offered. Mark began attending education full time and was able to quickly move from a 2 to 1 care to 1 to 1 care. Mark particularly enjoyed our outdoor activity programme, especially hiking up our local hills and mountains. He loved this so much that he even took it upon himself to make plans to walk the height of Mount Everest.
We believe that Mark thrived in our care because he had been given the environment and support to be a little boy again. From a chaotic, uncertain and dangerous background, he was now able to relax, play and explore the world around him.
We were also able to help Mark and Emma to maintain contact and to develop their relationship, creating a small family unit in their new community. Both Emma and Mark now feel that they are no longer alone and finally have a place to call home.