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Laura's Story

Laura* struggled with group living in her previous placement, often engaging in ‘riot type’ behaviours with her peers and planned periods of absconding, where she was then vulnerable and exposed to child sexual exploitation (CSE). Laura often misused her mobile phone, leaving not only herself, but others in dangerous situations. Laura had also been previously involved in criminal behaviour, including vandalism, shoplifting and assault on a peer. It was observed by her previous placement that Laura appeared to be the ‘follower’ and not the ‘leader’, which, in a placement with eight other girls, was a concern.

Laura was often seen as the ‘scapegoat’ within the family home by her mum’s partner at that time. Laura had little contact with her own dad and now has no contact with him. Laura does have fortnightly contact with her mum and initially struggled with this when at her previous placement, often struggling to follow any direction from her mum. She would abscond and return under the influence of alcohol. The contact with her mum at times could be fractious, due to Laura struggling to form and maintain relationships, and also due to her mum’s struggles with mental health and her parenting skills.

It was felt by Laura’s social worker that she would benefit from a smaller, therapeutic care placement, which was more rural. Laura transitioned to live in Croekwood, where she benefits from a therapeutic and nurturing environment, with clear rules and boundaries agreed and put in place. Laura’s previous placement had struggled to provide this guidance with the occupancy levels and age difference between all of the girls.

Croekwood was a newly opened service with Laura being the first person to reside there. She receives 24-hour support from an experienced staff team and is included in all aspects of her care plan, which is then followed up by staff to enable consistency for Laura. She is also planning to attend education and is currently receiving the support to identify subjects she struggles to engage with and how to overcome this, to ensure that she gains as many qualifications as possible.

Laura’s key issues and needs included:

  • Absconding
  • Concentration
  • CSE
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Self-harm
  • Self-control difficulties
  • Verbal insult and aggression
*Name and images have been changed to maintain confidentiality.