Helping Ella

What was the person’s situation before working with Advocacy Focus?

Ella* is a 16 year old girl who often goes missing from care. Throughout her teen years, she had moved around a number of different children’s homes and often required significant involvement from social services. This had caused her develop a very guarded personality and a substantial distrust of professionals and ‘the system.’ She was not in education, employment or training and was a daily cannabis user. She had a strained relationship with her social worker, so when she found herself pregnant at 16, she didn’t know where to turn or what to do.

Why did she need an Advocate?

Ella was unsure of what benefits or options were available to her and was worried about how she was going to support her baby financially. She also wanted to move to a placement closer to her partner so that they could be a family. Ella felt no one was listening to what she wanted. This is where our Return to Care Coordinator stepped in. 

My Return to Care Coordinator did not judge me or try to control my life. 

How we helped

Our Return to Care Coordinator became the main source of support in Ella’s life, we knew that she had a significant distrust of professionals, so we took the time to get to know Ella and her needs and wishes.

Over time, Ella grew to trust her coordinator and together they explored the options and outcomes available to her. We worked with Ella to request a change of placement which she felt would stop her running away from care.

Our coordinator also contacted a local charity, which provided Ella with new baby items such as a moses basket and a cot. Talking to Ella, we found that she really wanted to turn her life around, so we arranged for her to attend an open day at a local training provider and to get help with her CV.

 We also referred Ella to the children’s specialist drugs and alcohol service to help her withdraw from her daily drug use. At every stage, we made sure Ella had the platform she needed to communicate her needs and wishes and provide a new life for her baby. 

Our Coordinator also helped Ella learn how to self-advocate, and put forward her own views and wishes clearly and effectively. 

The outcome

Ella was moved to a new home closer to her partner which stopped her from going missing. Ella was made aware of all the financial options available to her and given the opportunities to turn her life around, this in turn reduced her anxieties and her fears for the future. 
In time, Ella developed more self-confidence, which led to her applying for a part time job. Ella is now drug free and has slowly began to trust professionals again. 

Ella gave birth to a healthy baby, which she cares for with her partner and is currently in the process of getting married. 

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people we support

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