Having experienced a difficult early life, when Charlotte came to Wings Notts as a young teenager, the full extent of the trauma she had experienced was not yet known.
Described as “academically bright, Charlotte was a school refuser who had been out of education for over a year having struggled with experiencing challenging behaviour and interacting with children her own age. This had hindered her learning and left her being excluded or refusing to attend school.
Alongside these difficulties, the teenager also struggled with self-care skills. She had low self-esteem and a negative view of herself. All of these complexities combined meant Charlotte could be verbally aggressive and threatening to peers, her family members and professionals.
The youngster had a very negative view of children’s services. Her difficult relationship with family members could see contact with them trigger negative behaviours.
When Charlotte met Wings Notts
The local authority felt Charlotte would benefit from a residential placement as she “needed to feel secure and protected by the adults in her life”. Structure and boundaries around school attendance were another key focus for the professionals working alongside Charlotte – they wanted her to have clear expectations about attending school and support to get ready in the morning.
Charlotte met the team from Wings who were struck by her fantastic sense of humour. The team also recognised immediately that the teenager needed clear rules and boundaries alongside a period of stability with positive role models.
Outcomes to date
With this positive support and encouragement, along with therapeutic interventions from Wings Notts’ in-house clinical team, Charlotte has made “great progress”. She takes part in weekly Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) sessions and completes various therapeutic work with her key worker.
Dr Vicky Horwood said: “Charlotte has shown significant improvements in her emotional awareness and regulation skills. She is much more empathetic towards others and will seek support if she feels she needs it.”
With an attendance of 98.44% for the current academic year, Charlotte attends wearing full uniform and has shown herself to have one of the highest reading ages within her year group, enjoying reading a variety of books in both school and at home. She has a regular morning routine including self-care and arrives at school on time.
An important aspect of improvement is that Charlotte seeks support and asks if she doesn’t understand a topic, where previously she would become angry, frustrated and dysregulated.
Charlotte’s relationship with her family has also significantly improved, with regular unsupervised contact. Charlotte has established a regular morning routine which allows her to complete all self-care tasks and arrive at school on time.
How this was achieved
Alongside the therapeutic input and DBT, Charlotte’s progress has been possible due to a number of elements. These include positive attachments and relationships with staff members in both care and education, an engaging and challenging curriculum and fair, clear and consistent boundaries across all areas.
It has been easier to establish these as Wings Notts is a residential setting, with consistency across care and education. These boundaries have helped Charlotte develop a familiar and stable routine.
Charlotte has also enjoyed a special and memorable summer holiday to Disneyland Paris and effective multi-agency work has also contributed to Charlotte’s on-going success.
Most importantly of all however is Charlotte’s own unbelievable commitment and her willingness to achieve positive outcomes. She is the driving force behind her own achievements.