J was referred to Homes 2 Inspire by his Local Authority at aged 13 years and had been taken into care following a complete family breakdown. This was a result of J:
- Continually going missing from home for long periods and failing to keep in contact with his family
- Frequently being arrested for criminal offences committed with older young people well-known to the Police
- Not attending education and being totally disengaged from school
- Failing to respond to his parents’ requests and their inability to set and maintain appropriate boundaries.
The Local Authority Children’s Services had become concerned about the increasing levels of J’s high-risk behaviour and placed him in one of their local children’s homes to stabilise his behaviour and reduce risk. Unfortunately, J’s behaviour deteriorated, which resulted in J’s parents being asked to take him back home until an alternative placement could be found.
Subsequently J’s Local Authority made a referral to Homes 2 Inspire and requested an out-of-county placement due to J going missing for long periods of time and being arrested by the Police for escalating criminal activity due to his involvement with a group of older young people. J was matched with one of our Homes in Nottingham that had an excellent reputation and the resources for working with children in crisis.
The assessment process to inform J’s Placement Plan fully involved J and his family and Social Worker and Key Worker. Homes 2 Inspires’ model is to significantly invest time in this process to really get to know the young person. Staff within the home spent time with J’s family to get a detailed understanding of when his behaviour had started to deteriorate and their views as to why this had happened. Individual sessions were undertaken with J to get his perception of his behaviour and the reasons for it, and to understand his personal aspirations. Staff also undertook observations of J with his peer group within the home and his responses to staff. The staff team worked with Homes 2 Inspire’s mental health partner St Andrew’s Healthcare to receive additional support from their lead psychologist when reviewing J’s case. As a result, J was referred to the local CAMHS team and diagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome.
The Placement Plan put in place measures to help J develop a Secure Base during time in the Home i.e. helping him build trust, manage his feelings, build self-esteem and self-effectiveness, as well as build relationships with his family.
To support J to understand the effect and consequences of his behaviour on himself, his family and his peers, targeted key work sessions were employed in the Home. These helped J develop an understanding of the impact his behaviour was having on the victims his criminal behaviour (victim empathy), recognise the risks of his behaviour to himself and support him to improve his ability to understand damaging relationships. The Home established clear boundaries, routines and structures to J’s day, helping him to respect others and regulate his emotions. As a result J’s self-esteem improved and he became a positive influence on his peers. He engaged in school, achieving GCSE passes and his relationship with his family was improved.
J remained at the Home for three years. The Registered Manager with whom he had a very positive relationship was selected to open a new Homes 2 Inspire home in a town near to J’s family home. It was agreed as part of J’s Pathway Plan that he would move to this Home when it opened, enabling increased contact with his family and a return to his family prior to his 17th birthday.
Whilst at this Home J was supported to apply for employment, started his driving lessons and was helped and supported in increasing his independent living skills. He also undertook a Level 2 Peer Mentoring Course. He had increased contact with his family, spending weekends at home with support from the staff to set clear expectations on the part of his parents.
J and his Key Worker devised a ‘Staying Close’ plan that included a step down from the Home to his family home. This was supported in partnership and consultation with J’s Personal Advisor, Social Worker and Family. The plan included:
- A 9-month programme with support from the Home reducing over time from 25 hours per week to weekly contact
- J being able to visit the Home for support on a regular basis (post 18 with Ofsted approval) where he would come for dinner, meet his peers (friends within the home), have additional support to resolve issues and gain access to additional training
- Weekly meetings with J and his family to discuss progress, address challenges and support J and his family to undertake outings and activities together.
J has now left Homes 2 Inspires’ care but keeps in contact with the Home to speak to staff. J is in employment and successfully living with his family.