Case Study – Stewart’s Story

Stewart had been in the care system for much of his life. He was referred to Includem at age 15 to provide support with the aim of improving his safety and well being in his own community following a period in secure care.

Stewart was taken into care at age seven and spent much of his life between different children’s homes before being placed in a secure unit for his own safety. He had little contact with his family, absconded regularly and put himself at risk in the community.

From the point of referral Includem provided daily evening contacts to try and reduce the frequent points of crisis – underlining his vulnerability and the importance of providing a tailored, responsive package of support.

Includem began to build a relationship with Stewart based on mutual trust and understanding – slowly at first but over time engaging with him more regularly. Although Stewart continued to abscond and put himself at risk his emotional state and his ability to think through decisions improved.

Stewart had been in the care system for many years and had built relationships with many professionals in the past. Includem’s support for the first few weeks was focused solely on building up trust so he knew he could rely on his project worker to be there when he needed help most.

Through focused work on managing his emotions and building up a picture of the relationships in his life, Includem supported Stewart to reach out to his family member and begin to rebuild relationships. Very slowly the process developed and it was agreed Stewart would spend one night a week staying with his mum with a long term view of returning him to her care full time. Includem monitored these overnights with 24/7 on call support through the Includem Helpline.

After thirteen months of support, Stewart left the children’s home and returned to the permanent care of his mum at home. His life is still in many ways chaotic but he is now taking fewer risks and carefully thinking through each decision for himself to keep him safe. He has reengaged with education and has a college place which Includem’s Transitional Support Service is supporting him to maintain.

Most importantly of all, Stewart can now visualise a future for himself – making the most of the potential he has to be safe and happy in his own community and to make a positive transition into adulthood.

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

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