Case Study – DR

Derek Rodney (name changed) a young person of African Caribbean heritage aged 17 years. DR experienced a number of significant carers prior to his mother’s death and he was accommodated under S20 of the CA 1989 when DR made an allegation of assault against his step-mother and was removed from their care to prevent further emotional abuse. DR was subsequently placed with Sam and Gary Hayles. The pre-placement information indicated that DR was in poor health due to neglect and that he presented with repetitive and disruptive behaviour, also that DR needed to be given a great deal of support in all areas.

Be Healthy: DR was enabled to understand and identify healthy and nutritious foods over a short time with the Hayles family, as he came to the placement with a history of eating fast foods. The longer term plan was for DR to learn to cook and care for himself.The carers are very active and they encouraged DR to be involved in family activities with their birth children, eg going to the local leisure centre and obtain a membership for the comprehensive activities on offer. Sam and Gary have worked hard encouraging DR with his personal care and hygiene which has improved but still requireed some supervision. DR was immediately registered with the family’s GP as the initial LAC medical highlighted that there was no registration/ record for DR on the Child H Surveillance System regarding any immunisation programme. Appointments for the dentist and the optician were also made for DR. It quickly became apparent to Sam and Gary, who are teachers by profession, that DR also presented with difficulties in communicating, forming relationships with others and in using language and abstract concepts. The CAMHS report concluded that DR had learning difficulties. Sam and Gary worked hard to support DR to improve his health outcome.

Staying Safe: Sam and Gary were fully aware of the importance of safe care and safeguarding. Ensuring house rules were clear e.g. privacy, using equipment safely, parental control re internet use etc. They discussed potential dangers when DR is in the community as DR was able to travel independently e.g. keeping safe on public transport, strategies to protect himself when in public places, who to contact etc. DR had a mobile to keep in contact with his carers.

Enjoying and achieving: DR attended Secondary school where he achieved two exam results. Subsequently DR was enabled to attend College and achieved merits for his work. The carers kept in regular contact with the college in order for DR to have a network of support to achieve his full potential. Sam and Gary hard work, strategic input, advocacy and belief in DR enabled him to achieve in education beyond previous expectation.

Making a positive contribution: The carers supported DR with family contact and emotional distress that at times resulted from this as DR would feel rejected by his family. Also communicated with professionals and birth family to ensure DR stayed safe in respect of contact. Sam and Gary supported DR to access activities out in the community and to develop some degree of independence boosting his self confidence. DR was fully involved with the carers extended family and felt a part of this family. The carers also supported the development of DR identity which included taking him to the Caribbean.

Achieving economic well being: Sam and Gary taught DR a variety of life skills to support his preparation for independence including self care, cooking, shopping, cleaning, money management etc. This was a work in progress due to the short time he was in placement. The carers also developed DR aspiration in respect of education and he was able to go on to college where he had begun to realise his potential despite his learning disabilities.