A referral was submitted by the Early Action Team with concerns around Ben* and his foster placement breaking down. The relationship between Ben and his foster carers was becoming strained and reaching the point where Ben could be asked to leave at any moment. Ben was constantly pushing boundaries that were set by his foster carers, even though they were reasonable but the main issues were around missing curfew. Ben blamed friends who were not driving him home on time and said that he had no other way of getting home without them. Ben's foster carers also had two other children; one of whom is disabled. Ben's behaviour was beginning to affect his siblings and home life in general.
Ben attended an initial appointment with hapi to discuss options which included mediation, supported accommodation, The Joint Homeless Protocol and the financial implications of semi-independent living. We also spoke about the impact on college education and peer relationships becoming homeless could have. Ben considered his current situation and felt that the best place for him to be is at home with his foster family and that supported accommodation would not be a suitable environment for him. He felt that his relationship with friends and family would be affected and he would not be able to abide by the stricter rules in supported accommodation. It was agreed that mediation would be the most suitable option in the current circumstance. Ben felt that his curfew’s and boundaries were very fair given his age, and that he would work harder to ensure he adhered to them, so as not to create conflict within his home environment.
The next course of action was to speak with Ben's foster carer, Sally, whom was willing to engage and resolve the situation, as she also felt that the best place for Ben was at home. Sally understood that Ben wanted to spend time with his friends and had set a reasonable curfew for him. Sally was willing to slightly extend that curfew and arrange for funds for Ben so that he could arrange his own transport home and not have to rely on friends to drive him home. Ben agreed that this was fair and said that he would make more effort to ensure he was at home when he should be and was not disturbing other people within the household when he returned.
Sally asked to withdraw Ben's referral as she did not want him to leave the family home and felt that issues had been resolved. Ben and his foster family have support in place from the Early Action Team and Children’s Social Care to ensure further provision is in place at home. Ben and Sally are also aware that further intervention and prevention support is available should it be needed in the future.