What we do: a case study

Case Study: Elizabeth

Elizabeth was referred to One-Eighty by the Virtual College for Looked After Children Hounslow due to a lack of engagement and interest whilst she was at school. Making limited academic progress and attaining low results, Elizabeth had difficulty completing homework and would regularly be placed into detention. Getting into trouble was exciting for Elizabeth, admitting herself that this usually revolved around teachers and will purposefully provoke certain teachers, especially if she did not like a certain subject/topic. The school were feeling stuck and tried many approaches to engage her. Away from school, Elizabeth’s situation at home was also complicated, her parents seemed to be emotionally unstable and often manipulative toward Elizabeth, which led to Elizabeth being put on a care order at the age of 6. Elizabeth then returned home, but was put back on a care order from 8 years old, due to continued long-term neglect by her parents. Elizabeth was in her 3rd foster care placement when One-Eighty began supporting her. Following an informative initial meeting with Elizabeth and her carers, One-Eighty created an intensive one-to-one intervention plan, which consisted of 9 individual sessions. A significant part of these sessions focused on improving Elizabeth’s low self-esteem, and her relationships with professionals, peers and foster family. In addition to these areas, One-Eighty also supported Elizabeth to become more familiar with the concept of a Fixed and Growth mindset in order to challenge her to become more academically engaged.

Although challenging, Elizabeth engaged well within these one-to-one sessions. Professionals working closely with her noted that with One-Eighty’s support, she went from drifting through her education, to becoming more actively engaged in a variety of subjects. Importantly, Elizabeth highlights that One-Eighty’s support has led her to be able to make more sense of the world around her, and to take more responsibility and ownership for the decisions that she makes. Following observations and professional feedback, Elizabeth is now fully aware of the importance of having a growth mind-set, and has been discussing this concept with other professionals who support her; she is also now able to build and maintain healthier relationships. Elizabeth’s SENCO noted that the One-Eighty intervention was very successful in engaging Elizabeth in a different and more challenging way, that made her begin to examine her attitude and behaviour towards her school work, peers and adults.

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