For Jamie, maintaining a care placement had always proved impossible. Whenever it looked as if he may succeed, or get close to the people supporting him, he would self-sabotage the placement and move on.
However, his story ended differently at Heysham House, a small, residential children’s home in the North-West.
As a child Jamie had been left to fend for himself which had made him so incredibly independent that he struggled to accept help or support, even when he needed it. He pushed boundaries with staff constantly and experienced some extremely challenging behaviours.
He was highly intelligent and engaged with the home’s Clinical Psychologist Dr Nicola Kennelly, who took him through basic life story work to explore early experiences and look at how those shaped how he responded to and shaped his present-day experiences and emotions.
His fears mainly lay in that he would be rejected and that he couldn’t trust anybody to take care of anything. If he felt unsafe, he would push people away even further so he could feel more in control.
However, through careful and sustained support where the staff team managed to persuade Jamie to stay and see what happened, that they weren’t going to reject him and that they were there to help, he maintained his placement right to the end before successfully transitioning back to his home area.
Such is his level of trust with the home, he stays in regular contact.
This story has been based on a typical young person at Heysham House.