TREVOR’S STORY – LOOKED AFTER CHILD, LOW SELF-ESTEEM, VIOLENT OUTBURSTS

Social context

NB Names altered for anonymity

OUTCOMES and IMPACT

Trevor is showing a developing ability to identify his feelings and share his thoughts and feelings in an open and honest manner. He can struggle at times, particularly when sharing details relating to historic details of his home-life but is more comfortable to share them with his chosen horse. Sharing his feelings appears to be less worrying for him now.

Trevor appears more confident and actively engages with all elements of the course.

Trevor has also shown an ability to build and maintain positive relationships and seems to show very high levels of empathy and care towards his chosen horse. He is also starting to develop his ability to identify the elements of a healthy relationship such as trust and respect and is starting to be able to reflect on ways in which he can ‘improve’ his ability to build and maintain positive relationships outside of the provision and in the school and home environment.

Trevor has shown increased understanding of the impact of his behaviour on others through activities which he has completed with his chosen horse. This also appears to have encouraged him to self-reflect, particularly, on the behaviour that he has previously displayed at school, sharing that he feels he could have reacted differently and ‘changed what I did’ to prevent the ‘incidents’ that he has been involved in at school.

Looked after children come from a range of different backgrounds and have varied experiences of care. Each child has their own different and specific sets of needs. Their experiences before and during care makes them a particularly vulnerable group of young people. Children may enter care for all sorts of reasons, but many enter 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

Feedback from Headteacher at referring Primary School
‘The adults working with Trevor are keen that he continues with the Seeds of Change work after this block of funding is used up. They are also keen for the time he spends with you to be increased. From the reports it seems like he is really enjoying these sessions and getting a lot from them which is great.’

Background to case

Trevor is a 9 year-old boy referred by his primary school for therapeutic 1:1 sessions as he is at high risk of exclusion having shown violent behaviour towards his peers and members of staff at times.

He has recently become a looked after child, living with his great Aunt and Uncle. XXXX is separated from his younger siblings, which this seems to worry him.

Trevor is very thoughtful and has a love of animals and he can be very chatty and friendly and enjoys being active.

Trevor has low self-confidence and high anxiety levels and will ‘run away and climb’ when he feels overwhelmed in the school environment. He struggles to understand the impact that his behaviour has on others.

Process at The Seeds of Change

At the start Trevor struggled to remain focused on one task. Timing each exercise or giving him a ‘set number to complete’ encouraged him to remain engaged and focused.
Trevor thrives whilst spending time with his chosen horse. He is able to use his horse’s body language to identify her thoughts and feelings and has developed an ability to identify and share his own thoughts and feelings.

Having previously showed very little awareness of the impact of his behaviour. He now understands that his behaviour has impacted others and has identified ways in which he could have changed his behaviour to create a more positive outcome.

Trevor's more ‘appropriate’ ways to share our thoughts and feelings and he is now able to compare his own reactions to situations, particularly in the school environment, to those of the horses.

Trevor responds very well to praise and consistent reflection on his achievements at the end of each session appears to have increased his self-esteem and confidence levels. His anxiety has decreased as rather than ‘refusing’ to complete a task, he is able to share that he is feeling worried or needs support.