JORDAN’S STORY – LOOKED AFTER CHILD

Social context

OUTCOMES and IMPACT

Initially attendance was intermittent, and engagement limited, now he is fully engaged and enjoys sharing retained learning and completing worksheets unaided.

Can share his emotions, describe his feelings and reflect and consider his actions and behaviours.

Can complete many tasks independently and demonstrates the ability to retain learning increasing his self-confidence and self-belief in achieving the sessions objectives.

Is now attending school for morning sessions and is beginning to verbalise his feelings in school in a constructive manner.

NB Names altered for anonymity

Looked after children come from different backgrounds with varied experiences of care, with each child having their own specific needs. However, research gives us insight into how experiences before and during care makes them particularly vulnerable. Many enter care because they have been abused or neglected. These experiences can leave children with complex emotional and mental health needs, which can increase their vulnerability to abuse.

QUOTE

“Jordan has expressed a real interest and enjoyment about his previous time with Seeds of Change and those who he lives with agreed it had a positive impact on him last time”

Background to case

Jordan is a looked after child living in a care home with recent access to Mum in a contact centre.

Initially referred at age 7, for poor school attendance and demonstrating physical and verbal aggression when upset, told ‘no’ or being challenged for his behaviour, he returned age 10 for 1-1 support with transition to a new school.

Jordan initially engaged well in his new school. However, due to a significant incident in school and his disengagement, we are experiencing more unsafe behaviours within school. We feel he is struggling to manage, process and understand the many changes he has had to manage recently.

Jordan struggles to build relationships with adults and peers as he lacks trust and intention of the other person and he has extremely low self-esteem, which is affecting his ability to progress socially, emotionally, and academically.

Process at The Seeds of Change

Care staff were initially unable to leave site due to his attachment and low confidence, with him attending sessions for half an hour, speaking little and returning to the car. He has now developed positive relationships with coaches and horses, often worrying what the "horses think of me".

Enabling him to take each session at his own speed and encouraging him to be interactive in planning the objectives of session has worked well.

Grooming the Shetlands in an outdoor environment helps him to reflect on events and become more open during discussions.

Jordan enjoys mindfulness with the horses, commenting that it is often noisy and busy in the care home and at TSOC he likes to be quiet and have time to reflect and process.

His behaviour around the horses is calm and considerate and he is keen to put their needs before his own, he is beginning to accept it is ok for things to not be perfect first time and working with horses has enabled Jordan to understand the importance of effective communication skills and building positive relationships.

He is able to discuss ‘hot’ events and behaviours and is working on understanding physical sensations associated with emotions and is beginning to take responsibility for his actions and reflect on behaviours.