At Wings Cumbria, many of the young people we support benefit from on-going therapeutic input from the team. Here we explore the typical experience and journey of a young person - and we will call him “George”. It’s important to remember that each child is an individual and their support will be tailored specifically to their needs and wants.
Throughout his early childhood, George did not have his psychological needs met, witnessed significant traumatic events including domestic violence alongside drug and alcohol misuse and was neglected. George experiences attachment difficulties as a result.
Fostered at a young age, George struggled with positive relationships, had high levels of separation anxiety and significant difficulties getting on with his peers. He was unable to self-regulate his emotions and would become extremely argumentative both at home and at school. His attachment difficulties would manifest as jealousy and being over-dramatic and a significant trigger for this was family contact.
He came to Wings Cumbria from a mainstream school placement which was unable to meet his needs. The peer group element was simply not working for George, his peers or his school - and he was struggling to cope.
Social work professionals working with George felt he would benefit from a residential school environment for two main reasons; to succeed in life he was going to have to learn how to have positive relationships and engagements with staff and peers and an onsite school with smaller class sizes would be a good way to practice. Additionally, the therapeutic input available at Wings would be a huge benefit to him.
Since coming to Wings, George has engaged with one-to-one therapy over a period of time, working individually in “formal” therapy sessions but also benefitting hugely from “informal” lunchtime and breaktime catch-ups.
The positive relationships formed with staff working in a therapeutically-informed way, along with individual therapy sessions, have had a really positive impact for George. He has positive relationships with his friendship group and his personality has come to the fore. He will “have-a-go” and join in, attends college and is very settled and happy.
George now self-regulates his emotions and, if in real difficulty, will seek an adult to talk to rather than working himself up into a state of such high anxiety he would “explode”. The team at Wings also focus on helping George gain independence skills, and he is thriving.
Another welcome outcome for George has been positive contact with his family. His parents are regular visitors to school and George often returns home for breaks and they are all, slowly but surely and with Wings’ support, building a relationship again.
A combination of therapeutic input – in formal sessions, informal contact and from a therapeutically engaged and informed care and education team – along with intensive and caring support across the board at Wings Cumbria has helped George make these positive steps and changes to his life.