Case Study – Vulnerable Woman helped with independence

We received a referral from Leicester College for a young woman who was vulnerable and in need of support. At the time she was living with a family friend as her relationship with her mother had broken down months before. She would put herself in dangerous situations, meeting men on the internet who would then sexually abuse her. She said she did this because she just “wanted to be loved”. She had no contact with her father and her stepmother exploited her financially, holding onto the bursary she has been awarded for her studies.

During the interview she disclosed that she had learning disabilities, took longer to process information, had been bullied at school and on a couple of occasions had tried to take her own life. Since she has been with us she has been assessed by a consultant psychiatrist who has diagnosed her as having Aspergers syndrome. This turned out to be something of a relief to her as she had always felt she was ‘different’ to other young people of her age and now she knows why.

Over the two years she has been with us she has received intensive support in the following respects:

  • Helping her to behave more responsibly sexually
  • Taking better care of her appearance and personal hygiene
  • Giving her the confidence and skills to cook herself
  • Taking an active part in the life skills programme, engaging in her college course and managing responsibly a placement at a local hospital
  • Becoming involved in an arts project on homelessness with Soft Touch Arts that entailed discussions about the conception and development of the project, making materials and carrying out interviews with members of the public
  • Welcoming new residents to the project
  • Restoring better relations with her mother and becoming an auntie for the first time
  • Saving money so she is ready to move into independent accommodation

She has now moved into her own one-bedroom flat. She will be able to access floating support and this should enable her to function independently as a full member of the community.