This case study is based on a young male aged 9. In order to maintain his confidentiality he will be referred to as John. John was referred to us by a local school for emotional support. John has been in foster care for the past few years due to his Mum and Dad having issues with substance and alcohol misuse. He gets to see his Mum and Dad but only in a contact centre with supervised visits.

John is a 9-year-old boy who was recently placed in foster care, only able to see his parents during supervised visits at a contact centre. Although he was happy enough in his new foster home, moving into foster care can be scary for children, and it’s still tough being away from your parents at such a young age. John’s school became concerned about him and referred him to us for emotional support. They were concerned about his progression in school and his emotional well-being.

Our job was to help John work through his emotions and raise his self-awareness, equipping him to deal with all of the changes in his life. We wanted him to have a safe place to talk about his thoughts and feelings.

Over the course of several one-to-one sessions we got to know John as a chatty, friendly young person, and it was a privilege to help bring these qualities to the surface and instil new confidence in him through a range of activities. He participated in several activities, such as the “Feeling Volcano”, that allowed him to visualise his thoughts and emotions so that he could deal with them head-on. We spoke with him about friendship and community, and about bullying, and created an anti-bullying poster with him along with several other creative projects.

John began to open up more and talk about his sisters, the community around him and what he’d like to see in his community. While he started the sessions completely unsure of what he wanted to do later in life, we helped him to realise that he wanted to work hard in school to give himself great chances in the future, no matter what he decides to do.

Today, John is happy in his foster home and, according to his teachers, is progressing really well in school. The one-to-ones benefited him greatly and improved his quality of life, and John himself says he enjoyed doing them and having someone to talk to.

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