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#CaseStudy: They left me behind for her… – @SWSCmedia Case Study Series #SWSCmedia


Next week is Emma’s 13th birthday and she is not excited about it.

Four years ago Emma’s mother (Laura [see details about Laura’s background]) was additionally diagnosed with schizophrenia and has been on and off with her medication and the continued support from community mental health team and child protection services.

Emma’s behaviour has become increasingly challenging and dangerous for herself. Emma has been placed in care in 4 separate occasions (once after her mother’s boyfriend attacked her mother; once due to neglect, and once because her mother was sectioned, and last about a month ago due to neglect and because Emma had run away from her mother and refused to go home).

At the beginning, Emma seemed quite happy with her last foster carer (Angela) until Angela began enforcing some boundaries and telling Emma that she needed to come home at a reasonable hour at night and that she could not stay out until 2 or 3 in the morning. Since then Emma has complaint to her social worker that Angela is too strict and that she is “nasty with me [Emma]”. Finally, last week Emma ran away from her foster carer’s home to her friend’s house and after 3 days returned to her mother’s home. Her absence caused serious concerns and the police were advised and were searching for her.

Emma smokes sporadically and her social worker suspects that she may be misusing substances. Emma blames social workers and social services for not “taking me [Emma] away”  to be “adopted like my [Emma] brothers….”

Emma is increasingly difficult to engage and usually answers questions with as short a reply as possible. However, this afternoon this was the conversation between Emma and her social worker:

Social Worker: “How are you feeling?”

Emma: “What do you care?”

Social worker explains how Emma and her wellbeing are important and how she has her entire life to look forward to.

Emma “Yeah… you and your lot are all the same…. I know social workers too well. They don’t care… They left me behind for her….”

You are Emma’s social worker.

What will be your reply to Emma?

What will be your next course of action?

What sort of intervention, action, decision, or support do you take and/or put in place for Emma and her mother?

Join our debate today at 6:00 PM BST / 1:00 PM EDT to explore this case and various alternative solutions @SWSCmedia.

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