Billie came to us in when she was 13 years old, having been subject to exploitation at the hands of an older gang since the age of 11.
When Billie arrived, she was withdrawn and frightened and did not want to open up to adults. Having been involved in a volatile adult world, Billie had forgotten how to be a little girl. She was struggling with her emotions and was unable to contextualise her experiences.
Billie joined us for short-term, 2 to 1 care, which meant she received intensive emotional support via our therapeutic approach, informed by multi-agency assessment. Our care team worked with Billie using our specialised ARCH programme of care, helping her to understand how to build trusting relationships and reassuring her that she was safe.
Through outdoor activities and alternative education such as trips to the park and spending time with animals, Billie was able to experience the freedoms and simple pleasures of childhood for the first time in many years.
Gradually Billie grew in confidence and began to feel able to open up. Her carers recognised that spending time grooming and riding horses calmed and reassured Billie, and this became her favourite activity. As Billie began to feel more at ease, carers gently helped her to understand the meaning of exploitation, and it was during an encounter with the horses that she was first able to communicate some of the things she had been through. Through our nurturing care, Billie had begun to feel safe and happy for the first time in many years.
Billie still had a difficult journey ahead of her as she came to terms with what had happened to her. However, the relationships that she had built with her carers, and the environment that had been created for her, allowed her to navigate this successfully. It was a pleasure for us to see Billie transform from a confused and guarded young girl to a confident and happy teenager.
When it came time for Billie to leave our care, we worked to find the best possible option for her future. With our support, Billie’s mother was able to relocate so that Billie could return to live with her.
Billie is now happy and settled with her mother and in her new community. She is attending school full time, has made many friends, and is enjoying new hobbies. Most importantly, she has learnt to be a child once again, and is able to look to her future with positivity and confidence.
It was a pleasure for our staff to see Billie transform from a confused and guarded young girl to a confident and happy teenager.