Kate is 14 years old and has had six very positive sessions with the Teen Spirit adoption programme. Her initial registration revealed that she has significant difficulties forming and maintaining relationships – both with her peers and with her adoptive family. Things have reached the point where she has been physically violent towards her adoptive mum.
After the final week of the initial four-week programme, Kate’s mum contacted Body & Soul to say that she had called the police the previous evening after being physically assaulted and that Kate had been arrested. She also shared with us that she was considering asking social services to take Kate back into care as she couldn’t cope.
Given that Kate was engaging very well with the Teen Spirit programme (and with two key members of the team in particular), we were in a strong position to formulate a plan that would reduce the immediate risk of family breakdown. Two important elements of the plan were: (i) that a mentoring space would be provided for Kate to explore some of her issues in a one-to-one environment; and (ii) that her mum should receive time out for emotional support and relaxation.
For over a month now, Kate has been travelling with her mum to meet her mentor and using the sessions for the full 60 minutes. This has been valuable for Kate in working through her emotions but also for us in giving us a deeper understanding of what her current needs are: she talked about her struggles with identity, but also her sexuality, and her use of cannabis.
A meeting of professionals has been called to bring together all agencies currently working with the family to ensure that plans are in place for the summer holidays. Kate’s attendance at Teen Spirit reconnection days and weekly mentoring sessions continues to be consistent and she shows in her own way that she is glad to be part of the Body & Soul community. For the time being, referral back into the care system has been put on hold, and we hope that things will gradually become more manageable as we continue to provide timely and tailored support.