Melissa* was at significant risk of exploitation when she joined Wings Notts residential school just before she became a teenager. Having experienced childhood trauma, she had previously been supported in a small residential provision which specialised in CSE. However, after making friends in the local community, Melissa was going missing, sometimes on a daily basis. Melissa was also at risk of exploitation online.
She needed a placement which offered both security and warmth. It needed to be a place where she would be encouraged to attend school and where there would also be opportunities for her to take part in activities she enjoyed. She was placed at Wings Notts, a residential school with both education and care on site.
At Wings Notts, Melissa’s team, including her Key Worker, began working with her on boundaries, rules and importantly, safety in using social media and the risks of CSE. They worked in collaboration with her social worker on those rules and boundaries.
Melissa also received therapeutic input via the Wings Notts clinical model, spending time with the school’s clinical psychologist, occupational therapist and speech and language therapist. She built positive relationships and healthy attachments with staff members and peers of both genders. As a result, she now understands healthy relationships. The safe and secure rural location of Wings Notts, with a larger group of peers to build friendships with, removed the need to abscond for Melissa – with no missing from care incidents reported during her time at Wings Notts.
She has now stepped down to foster care and is looking to move back to mainstream schooling. She has also moved closer to her home area.
Her social worker said: “I have always found the staff very kind, welcoming and supportive whenever visiting Wings Notts. The grounds and care home are all so well maintained. The staff evidently really care about the children and have obviously had a positive impact on Melissa. Thank you all so much for all of the dedication you have shown towards this girl.”