Daniel’s Story

Daniel was 12 when he was referred to Includem by his guidance teacher. There were concerns around his attendance and lack of engagement when in school. There were difficulties in getting Daniel up for school in the morning and his mum felt unable to manage his behaviour in the home and his refusal to go to school. Daniel was isolated within the school and in the community.

Includem supported Daniel through three contacts per week, with his mum receiving advice and assistance as part of these. Using Includem’s cognitive based toolkit, ‘A Better Life’, workers supported Daniel to identify the reasons behind his behaviour at home and in school. Using the ‘People in My Life and ‘Managing My Emotions’ modules, workers used a range of visual exercises and role playing to chart his typical week and his interactions with his family and people in school. Daniel identified that developing more stable peer relationships could help him attend school, so workers supported him to engage in activities in his local community.

Daniel’s mum received support and guidance to develop her parenting skills, and strategies for how she could manage Daniel and support him to attend school consistently. This was supported by occasional unplanned contacts in the morning to offer practical support if tensions were rising at home. These exercises helped them build a more positive relationship and helped them understand how the other felt. This helped Daniel feel more stable and secure in his life and at home with his mum.

As Daniel’s behaviour became more stable at home, workers supported him to understand how his actions at school were impacting on his hopes for the future. Working on our ‘Education, Training and Employment’ module, Daniel began to talk about his future goals and, through sessions with his workers he developed a path to how he would achieve them. He began to understand how his behaviour and his absence from school were barriers to reaching these goals. While reflecting on this, Daniel was encouraged to use the same skills in communicating with teachers that he was trying at home with his mum.

As Daniel moved on from Includem, he was attending and engaging with school more positively. He had developed better relationships with his teachers and felt more confident communicating with them. He also had a stable peer group around school and in the community, continuing to spend time cycling and skateboarding. His mum was more skilled and confident in coping with any difficult behaviour and was more understanding of Daniel’s needs. There have been no further incidents of violence within the family home and Daniel and his mum had a much healthier relationship.

The name and some key details about this young person have been changed to protect his/her identity.

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