Meet Jack- A young person in our care

Before his entry to Parkerville Jack was placed in departmental foster care placements. As he grew older carers reported struggles to manage Jacks challenging behaviours and non-school attendance. This lead to referrals for specialised care for Jack and his placement in a departmental residential care home. Jack was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and prescribed medications.

Upon his entry to Parkerville Jack displayed risk taking behaviours such as property damage, non-attendance at school, smoking in the house, sexualised behaviours with a female co resident and stealing money and keys from the carers. His risk taking behaviour lead to a Juvenile Caution. Jack spoke openly about his intent to self-sabotage his placement stating he would not make the 12 month mark. At this time Jack was attending his local high school for 3 days a week on a staggered integration phase, the school noting that they do not have capacity to meet his needs. For his initial months in the family group home Jack had a variety of carers, his behaviours along with those of his peers in the home resulted in frequent changes of carers. Jack spoke openly around liking this and vowed he would not attach to a carer again.

Shortly after this time Jack met his new carers, an experienced couple who worked in the child protection field for many years. This marked the beginning of a significant life event for Jack as these carers would prove to defeat his views on attachment and regain his sense of hope. Although his risk taking behaviours continued, his carers did not apply a reactive or emotional response, they worked within the Therapeutic Model of Care and searched for the meaning behind his behaviours. Jack began to develop open communication with his carers and contribute to his care planning and care team. He became involved in the planning to seek an alternative education setting; a year later he transitioned to further education in the Parkerville Education Employment and Training programme. This allowed Jack to work in a setting where his cognitive ability was recognised, he had a voice in the pace of his learning while also using a hands on approach to work and training. Jack agreed to engage in an assessment with Parkerville Therapeutic Family Services, he developed an understanding of his trauma background and welcomed his carers completing this journey with him. As time passed Jack moved into his second year in the home and overcame his desire to leave and reject the help and support of his care team.

A few years later Jack’s family group home was relocated to a new suburb, Jack subsequently moved with his carers and began to reach the end of his time within the home. His care team developed a proposal to request an extension to the two year timeframe to allow him to stay for an additional 6 months. By this stage his carers vowed to relocate to a Therapeutic Foster Care placement with Jack. This was an illustration of the depth of the relationship between Jack and his carers, and so Jack moved to General Foster care with his carers. He continued to navigate normal adolescent struggles with the complexities of his trauma experiences in early childhood. He entered the working world and gained a role in landscaping, developed independent living skills and embraced on his first intimate relationship. Jack continued to build on his attachment with his carers and reached amazing growth in his ability to regulate his emotions, display empathy, form relationships and manage his impulse control. He overcame barriers across all areas of his functioning to become a mature and well developed young man.

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