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Gemma’s Story

Gemma* is 18 years old and has a complex variety of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Gemma transitioned to Woodend Farm from a placement in the North West of England, after it was deemed that they could no longer keep her safe due to her high levels of self-harm and suicidal ideation.

Gemma regularly put herself at risk by absconding to consume alcohol, and on two occasions had consumed cleaning products to cause harm to herself. Gemma’s previous placement also wasn’t able to offer her a suitable education package for her senior years, and the decision was made that Gemma should transition to Woodend Farm to receive an individualised education and care plan.

Gemma has been in care since the age of three, due to family issues including her mother’s poor mental health, domestic abuse and neglect of Gemma and her siblings. Gemma continued to have regular contact with her parents through a contact centre until her father passed away in 2010. Gemma has since only had contact with her mother and siblings, which can cause Gemma distress and lead to self-harming behaviours afterwards.

Gemma has resided in nine previous placements in total, seven being in foster care and two in residential care. During this time, she has experienced traumatic events in one of her foster placements and has since been working with CAMHS and other professionals to gain closure.

Since Gemma moved to Woodend Farm, she has benefited from a therapeutic, nurturing environment, living alongside four other young people. Gemma receives 24-hour support from experienced support staff, who follow her individual care plan, which meets her needs through a person-centred approach and a personalised outcome tracker.

Gemma’s key issues and needs included:

  • Attachment disorder
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Physical aggression towards others
  • Self-harm
  • Self-control difficulties
  • Gaps in education
*Name and images have been changed to maintain confidentiality.