"B" was 16 and nearing the end of a custodial sentence when referred to LCS. Their history included:
- Adoption at 2-years-old, following maternal abuse
- Abuse by a BME group male – resulting in previously unchallenged racist behaviours
- Petty crimes and shoplifting
- Gang involvement, including sustaining extreme personal injury requiring weeks in hospital
- Disowned by adoptive parents following escalating criminal activities
To ensure we could effectively support "B", we liaised with Children's Social Care (CSC) and the Young Offender Institution (YOI) to complete a comprehensive initial assessment – including reviewing B’s profile and risk assessments. We visited B at the YOI, and collaborated with him alongside YOI and CSC staff to identify key issues/concerns that had previously prevented successful engagement, plans to address these, and their wider support plan.
For "B", this included:
Attachment disorder. "B" desperately sought stability and affection
- Regular visits from consistent staff
- Offering a homely environment
- Reassuring him that we cared about him and wanted him to succeed
Ongoing criminal behaviours
- Proactive response including maintaining firm/consistent boundaries and positive diversionary activities
Tendency towards explosive outbursts/destructive behaviours to avoid discussing their feelings or past
Co-developing positive alternatives and coping strategies
Discussing negative behaviours causes
Mistrust of men
- Matched with female staff to enable trust development
We regularly visited "B" in the YOI before their move into LCS accommodation, ensuring they were well prepared through activities including:
- Building excellent working relationships– providing the stability he craved, addressing their attachment disorder and preparing for a smooth transition
- Preparing him to move into the accommodation – including showing him images of the flat, giving him a personalised Welcome Book (with information about their new home, the local community – including sports/leisure facilities and religious organisations, house rules, and behaviour expectations)
- Providing dedicated out-of-hours response – building trust and reassuring him when anxious or bored
- "B" signing a tenancy agreement, committing to rules, and engaging in services. This included ensuring he understood, and agreed to, the behaviours expected of him (including stopping offending and racism), and sanctions/rewards for breaching/meeting these
- Starting to establish long-term, positive goals
- Discussing decorative preferences, and supporting him to make the flat “their own”
- Honest conversations and planning with him about Day One, Week One to address fear, anxiety, loneliness or boredom
This ensured "B" was focussed, positive, and successfully engaged with us from the day he moved in.
16-year-old "A"’s history included 22 placement breakdowns in the two years before referral to LCS. They frequently went missing, engaged in substance misuse and experienced sexual exploitation.
16-year-old "C" was referred to an LCS Shared House as “medium risk”. The referral identified risks including inappropriate sexual behaviour, frequent missing episodes and hygiene issues, including bedwetting.
Mental Health Support
"D" was 16 when referred to LCS, having been hospitalised for 3 years with mental health issues, anorexia and self-harm. They had no sense of self-worth and was at high risk of death by misadventure.
"T" was 16 when they were referred to an LCS Shared House. They’d been in 20+ placements over the last few years. They had low self-esteem, was self-conscious and struggled with depression and intense emotional outbursts.
Post Support Approach
"G" had autism, learning disabilities, and required 24/7 support, with sleep-in night workers. The planned outcome was for LCS to prepare him for a semi-supported adult placement.
Preparation for Independence
"F" was referred to LCS and offered placement in a shared house after a kinship placement broke down. Their mother had substance misuse issues and their father and brother were in jail – with offences including armed robbery.
"H" had highly complex needs, a history including self-harm and repeated suicide attempts, historic sexual abuse, extreme attachment issues, high-risk sexual behaviours and grooming.