Case Study: Flipside, Hull

Setting the scene

The young person self-referred themselves into the Flipside project after seeking support to stop them getting into trouble within the community – the young person was known to Hull Youth Justice service after previously accessing them due to ongoing issues within the community and at home. The young person is a 12-year-old boy who attends an alternative provision in Hull. He has had social care involvement and has witnessed domestic violence previously. The young person has difficulty self-regulating their emotions and has poor decision making. The young person also has a medical diagnosis of ADHD to which, he is awaiting medication. The young person can be easily influenced and is vulnerable to child criminal exploitation.

What did we do?

Using a trauma informed approach, I assessed the needs of the young person to identify the best form of support that was bespoke to the young person. This included working within the community and in the educational environment. This allowed a positive working relationship to be built on trust – together, we created an action plan to address any presenting problems for the young person. This included using elements of CBT to challenge any negative thoughts that the young person was having. We also identified the young person’s hobbies and interests within the community. He outlined that he enjoyed fishing as this made him calm and relaxed.

The young person shared that he can become ‘triggered’ due to sensory overload in lessons – the young person shared that they felt that staff members did not understand how he felt when he was heightened. Using this information, it allowed myself, the young person and the school to have a mediation meeting to understand everyone’s point of view – this proved to be successful as the young person felt valued and listened to, creating a sense of belonging.

What was the impact?

To date, the young person has engaged extremely well and the effects of having support from the Flipside project is proving to be successful – the young person has not been in trouble with the police or engaged in anymore criminal activities within the community. Furthermore, the young person’s relationship at home with his family has dramatically improved. His mum has reported that he appears to be calmer, and more respectful.

He is attending school most days and is managing his emotions better.

The young person has also started going fishing and has acquired a new friendship group which is more positive.

What barriers and challenges were faced and how were they overcome?

Initially the young person thought that the Flipside project worked directly for the police, and he did not understand that we were a youth service from the voluntary sector. The young person was concerned about that his friends thinking that he would be ‘grassing’ on them. Through being consistent, and honest with the young person, he eventually lowered his guard – the young person understood that any safeguarding information needed to be shared however, anything that he discussed would be confidential.

Lessons Learnt: What would replicate moving forward? What would you do differently based on the learning?

The trauma informed approach works very well and allows transparency between the worker and the young person – this is something that I will continue to do in my practice as it allows the young person to take ownership of their support to which, they can evidence themselves. I will also continue to prioritise the relationship building within the support as I firmly believe this is crucial to successful support. I would take a leaflet from Flipside to give to the young person on my initial visit.

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