Laura’s story

Laura case study

The following childhood case study, with names changed, has kindly been provided by a Social Worker.

“Laura was in foster care, with her brother and a further 11 children. Both she and her brother had been in a number of foster homes and had been through the adoption process twice. Laura joined the school in year 3, and was receiving external support through the NSPCC. Laura’s needs were such that she was identified for support through the Thrive FTC programme in school.

“Her observed behaviours were: ignoring rules, doesn’t understand or acknowledge the relevance of rules; asserts ‘no’ and ‘I won’t’; temper tantrums and extreme mood swings; monopolising shared resources; fear of scarcity, grabs, wants, disregards; unable to settle to task, gets bored easily and fiddles about.

“The Thrive programme identified that Laura had a developmental interruption at ‘Learning to think’ (see the [six building blocks](/approach/info/underlying-models/)) The following key tasks were set:

– Understand cause and effect and problem solving.
– Know about feelings and to express them appropriately.
– Need developmental experiences such as ‘learning cause and effect’, ‘problem solving’, ‘expressing a view’.

“At her review, Laura had been accessing Thrive FTC support through three 1:1 sessions per week for sixteen weeks. The focus was to support her to access her needed developmental experiences through play activities. Laura was helped to make sense of what was happening to her by an adult ‘lending their brain’ to help her to understand. This emotional attunement was key (See Vital Relational Functions (VRFs) Paper). Laura was helped to understand her feelings and be able to name them.

“Both her teacher and the Thrive co-ordinator within school noticed significant changes in her behaviour. These included: making friendships within school and retaining them; improvement in the ability to make choices and adhere to rules; an overall increase in her attention span; less frequent tantrums and improved ability to share resources.