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Building confidence through therapeutic support - William's story

In and out of foster placements 

We first met William* when he was 14 years old. He’d previously been through several foster placements but each one had broken down in quick succession.  

When he arrived, he was quiet and anxious about his new setting, and lacked confidence and independence skills.  

Beginning to blossom  

William struggled to settle in at first, his behaviour was challenging, and he would become distressed very quickly.  

We turned to our in-house therapeutic team for support. They provide clinical assessments, tailored treatment plans, bespoke interventions, and direct therapy to all our looked after young people, depending on their needs. 

They recommended that William would benefit from attending weekly play therapy sessions. The sessions would help William open up about his feelings and take a step back from his past experiences so that he could process them in a safe and private space.  

William was keen to start these sessions and he engaged with them really well from the beginning. They gave him an outlet to share his trauma in a way that felt natural, nurturing, and supportive.  

The impact play therapy had on William was immense. His behaviour improved considerably, he started talking about his feelings more openly and found ways to regulate his emotions more effectively.  

Making lasting friendships 

William felt that he always struggled to maintain friendships, so we worked with him to build up his confidence and encouraged him to try new things so that he could meet other young people his age.  

He’s since made a friend at school, has built up a friendship group locally who he plays football in the park with, and visits a friend from another Esland home on a regular basis.  

For William, making connections and friendships has made a massive difference to his well-being and how he sees himself.  

Facing his fears 

William used to find public places and big crowds really intimidating but with the right support and socialisation, he can now face walking into supermarkets and experience excursions to fun places like theme parks and monster truck shows.  

When William first arrived, he had a fear of kitchen knives after an accident when he was younger. To help overcome his fear, we spent lots of time practising how to safely cut up vegetables and now he loves helping prepare dinner.  

He’s a brilliant baker too, and we’ve been truly spoilt by his home-made desserts. His star brownies are particularly delicious!  

Big ambitions  

We’re now working with William to develop his life skills so that he gains more independence in the future and can begin to explore the possibility of living with his mum again.  

William is very ambitious and has lots of plans for his career, he’d like to be a YouTuber and use his platform to help other people. He’d also like to be an inventor who engineers new and life-changing products or someone who looks after injured or abused animals. Whatever he chooses, we’re certain he’ll do a really good job.  

“William makes us proud every day by being the kind and positive young man that he is. We are particularly proud of William’s resilience and his desire to improve his wellbeing, as well as wanting to ensure others are happy too.” 

Quote from the manager of William’s home 

*We have changed the name to protect the young person’s identity. 

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