Case Study 3 (West)
14 year old girl who lives in the Chester area and attends a local high school. Academically she is doing well and is openly willing to engage with services. She lives with her single mother, who works at a local primary school. She knows of her father, but does not have a positive view of him.
As a result of her creating a false Facebook account, pertaining to her age as 18 and working in Matalan, she was then followed by an older male. Her mother found the false profile and reported the incident to the police. It was through this and the following involvement of social care that it was identified that her mother had emotional/mental health concerns and that this was impacting on her.
She had a fragile relationship with her mother, with her mother disclosing that she did not wish to be in the same room as her. They were arguing a lot and her mother requested that she did not bring any friends home as she didn’t want them to see her if she was in a negative mental state. This meant she rarely socialised outside of the family home. She was displaying signs of poor relationship skill with her peer groups within school which also spilled out into a PGL residential trip. She was experiencing worry and anxiety around leaving her mother as she has been aware of her mother’s self-harming and suicidal thoughts. TG was showing signs that she has a lack of self-regulation and self-soothing, however was showing good self-reflection skills.
She had also reported that she was attempting self-harm but at the time these were identified as scratches and were reported by CAMHS as not leaving visible markings.
She has continued to attend the regular target session at Chester 12+ on a fortnightly basis. Here she spends time mixing with her peers, sharing stories and issues about school or home life. Though she does take part in some of the activities provided at the target sessions, she prefers to use this time to talk with her peers but to also talk to the session lead (who is also a Cheshire Young Carers caseworker) on a 1:1 basis. She often arrives in an emotional state and needs the 1:1 time to offload and rationalise her thoughts and fears.
- She can attend regular structured group activities that are aimed to support her to make new friendships, build and develop communication skills and work on increasing her self-esteem, confidence and ultimately her resilience to stresses she experiences.
- She can access one to one support in and out of the session when needed from volunteers and staff, which reassures her that there is support available if she feels she needs it. This gives her confidence knowing she is not alone, feeling cared for and understood.
- Exposure to new experiences and social groups outside of her usual frame of reference, which encourage personal development, confidence, self-esteem and exploring of new ideas.
Case work support will keep the lines of communication open between school, her mother and any other services, such as social care, to ensure an umbrella of support is consistent for her. This reassures her and her mother that support services are a positive element within their daily lived experience.