Starts at Home 2023 – Suffolk

In 2020, we had a young person move into the Cangle Foyer. They were 16 a living in a cluster room. It was immediately clear that she had little or no skills in communicating with others. Moreover, she was struggling with anxiety and PTSD as a result of past traumas of abuse in the family environment. 

She had been in care since 7, and had serious issues of abandonment and a sense of not belonging anywhere. 

Her support worker Susannah worked very hard to build up a good relationship with her, social services, her mum, and the school, in order to form a network of support around her. This took months, as some outside agencies had let her down in the past by breaking her trust and speaking to her mum about things she had not given permission for. 

After many discussions with Service Manager Dawn, it was agreed to allow the 16-year-old to move from a cluster room into a flat. She had been feeling persuaded by peers to take illegal drugs and drink alcohol which was making the young girl very upset. 

The young girl took to living independently with help, she attended college full-time and passed her exams for health and social care. 

We also made an emotional support animal policy so that she was able to have a cat for therapeutic needs. This has been going well with no issues. 

The young girl is now 18 and has applied to study at Anglia Ruskin University to further her education around health and social care. 

From Susannah Johns, Support Worker