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Fri May 17| Transforming Lives Young People’s Stories

Transforming Lives: Laurie’s Story*

Transitioning into Care

(*name has been changed to protect identity)

 Laurie, aged 14, was referred by Social Work to includem’s Intensive Support Service in November 2023 due to concerns that their care placement was close to breaking down and they were isolated in their community. Includem were asked to provide some respite to Laurie’s carers to help them understand Laurie’s behaviour, and help Laurie gain some independence within their local area.

Before includem began supporting Laurie, they had been removed from their parent’s care in Glasgow and placed with carers in Ayrshire. The relationship between Laurie and their carers had become strained as they struggled to understand Laurie’s learning disability and how this was impacting their behaviour. Laurie attended a specialist school where their educational needs were supported, but Laurie struggled to understand social situations. This led to situations where as a result of misunderstanding, Laurie would become involved in fights. Their carers had responded to this by enforcing strict rules at home for Laurie, which included restricting the use of their games console which was Laurie’s only way of beating boredom. As a result, Laurie would become very bored, exacerbating behaviours their carers found challenging.

Includem began working with Laurie to help them become more involved in their community. By becoming more involved in their community, Laurie would be able to become more independent and increase their social skills. Using ‘A Better Life’s’ ‘Beating Boredom’ module, includem workers supported Laurie to attend local activities within the community. This gave Laurie the opportunity to try new activities and hobbies. We supported Laurie to attend a community arts and crafts group by facilitating the travel and initially attending alongside them. Laurie regularly attended and once they were more comfortable, began to socialise with other young people.

Although includem had attempted to increase Laurie’s carers understanding of their learning disability and behaviour, the care placement broke down. It was decided by Social Work that it would be in Laurie’s best interest for them to be accommodated in a Children’s Home back in Glasgow, so that their complex needs could be more effectively met. Includem’s goal was to ensure that Laurie was prepared for this change and that they could adapt to their new surroundings. This goal was particularly related to Laurie living with other young people as this was unfamiliar to them. Workers utilised ‘A Better Life’s’ ‘My Emotions’ module to support Laurie through the recent change in their living situation, helping them to reflect on the positives in their life since working with includem. Workers also encouraged Laurie to think about the benefits that being with peers their own age could have for them.

Includem visited Laurie on the day of their move to provide emotional support and reassured them that we would be supporting them while they settled in. It was important to Laurie, and to includem that there was some consistency in their new situation. As part of maintaining this consistency, includem corresponded with the community art group to ensure that there would be a space for Laurie to attend in their new locality. This would allow them to continue building on their hobby and the relationships they had built while attending. Using ‘A Better Life’s’ module ‘Independent Living’, Includem helped Laurie to develop skills such as budgeting, the value of money and making use of shopping lists. Through these activities, Laurie also became more confident in asking for support when they needed it.

When Laurie moved on from includem’s support, the team at the Children’s Home were informed of all the progress that they had made, and the work that had been carried out by Laurie as this had not been communicated by Laurie’s previous carers. With includem’s support, Laurie was successfully settled into their new care placement, utilizing their new life skills and benefiting from having structured relationships in place. At the time of move on, Laurie had not been involved in any further fights and was working to transform their life.


Find out more about the Transforming Lives campaign here.

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