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Escaping from crisis - Amy’s story

Abusive beginnings  

Amy’s* childhood was unstable and traumatic. Her mum had issues with substance misuse, and her dad sexually abused her. He later passed away from terminal cancer. 

Amy experienced severe neglect as a child; she didn’t have access to adequate health care, never ate a healthy diet, and didn’t know how to take care of things like personal hygiene. 

When her dad died, Amy’s mum struggled to look after her and her sister and they were moved into foster care. Unfortunately, the placement broke down and the sisters were separated.  

On the run  

When we first met Amy, she was scared and anxious. Her emotions would escalate quickly, and she’d often be verbally and physically aggressive towards us. 

She’d regularly attempt to go missing by jumping over the garden fence or ask to go on an activity so that she could run away from us when she got there. 

Amy understandably wanted to be back with her mum, so we spent time discussing her feelings, views and wishes. With a supportive approach, Amy began to understand that we just wanted to keep her safe. 

After a while, we made contact arrangements with Amy’s mum so she could still see her, which helped ease her anxieties. She started to trust us and settle into the home. 

New school, new skills, new hobbies 

Before Amy came to us, she’d spent a lot of time out of education. To ease her back into things, she completed online learning at the home and after significant progress, she now attends school 3 times a week. 

Amy has come on leaps and bounds with her skills; she’s bright, kind, and her independence is growing. She’s learnt to develop safe relationships and identify unhealthy ones, particularly online.   

She’s a fantastic baker, and we’ve encouraged her to expand this passion and explore other aspects of cooking. 

She understands the importance of self-care and has formed positive personal hygiene routines in the mornings and at bedtime. 

Plus, she does her own laundry, keeps her room tidy and organised and does some chores around the home, although, like most teenagers, she tries to wriggle out of them! 

The next chapter  

For the future, Amy has expressed that she’d like to return to a foster placement. She feels this is the next best step for her because she’ll be able to expand her independence and keep moving forward. 

Amy also wants to build on her relationships with her mum and sister. We helped her write a letter to her sister to explain how far she’s come and how she hopes they can one day be reunited. 

“I couldn’t be prouder of Amy. Her resilience is unmatched, and her bravery to face different challenges and come out the other side is amazing.” 

Quote from the manager of Amy’s home 

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

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