When Nia joined us as a victim of exploitation, she had been used to a life of chaos, danger and fear.
She had been moved around many times and did not feel that she had anywhere to call home. She had missed out on key milestones in her childhood and had not had the opportunity to form positive relationships.
Like all children, Nia had a desire to be nurtured by adults who were genuinely interested in her and would respond to her needs. She needed stability, safety and support, and we were able to provide this for her. Nia settled quickly into her home and soon developed superb relationships with her care team. Through the patience and experience of our staff, using our ARCH programme and our therapeutic care, Nia’s wellbeing and confidence improved and she began to think about her future for the first time.
Despite not attending school for long periods before coming to us, Nia set herself the goal of attending mainstream education in a local school. However, the school she wished to attend was reluctant to accept Nia as she fell just outside their catchment area. Our teams worked with Nia’s Local Authority to advocate for her to be accepted to the school, and we arranged an interview for her with the head of the school. Nia performed superbly in this interview, impressing the school staff with her intelligence, resilience and maturity, and they agreed that she could enrol. Nia remained at the school for the 6 months that she was with us. She found an enthusiasm for learning, made friends and made excellent progress.
Tragically, just a few weeks before national lockdown restrictions were imposed, we discovered that Nia’s mother had a terminal illness. Our care and multi-disciplinary teams were able to support Nia both emotionally and practically throughout this process, putting risk assessments and plans in place which would enable Nia to visit her mother during the Covid pandemic.
When Nia’s mother sadly passed away, our staff worked with CAMHS to support her mental health and we used the strength of our relationships and our skills and experience to help her cope with her grief and to continue on her positive path.
When it was time for Nia to move on from AWW, she expressed her desire to return to her home county. This was met with a great deal of reluctance from external agencies, since it was felt that she would be at risk. However, we were led by Nia on this, and we felt that she had made such good progress that we could support her to achieve a safe and successful return to her home county. We advocated for those around her to listen to Nia’s voice, and we worked together with external partners to put plans in place which enabled Nia to return home safely.
Nia remains safe and happy in her local area and she is in regular touch with our care team to share her continued successes. We are very proud of all that she has achieved and the role we played in helping her on her path to success.
Through the dedication and support of our care, education and health teams, Nia was able to re-engage in education and make excellent progress in terms of her confidence, skills and wellbeing. This meant she was able to achieve her goal of returning to her home area to continue her education.