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Case Study: Helping a mother deal with her teenage son at risk of exploitation

We supported a single mother with limited English language skills, who was struggling with her 16-year-old son.

The issues they were facing:
  • Our client was struggling with her 16-year-old son who was continuously getting arrested for Class A and B drug offences, with the potential he was involved in County Lines.
  • Our client and her son had been reluctant to engage with Police, Social Workers and other professionals, with all agencies being concerned that both mother and son could be withholding crucial information; our client believed her son was being groomed by an older male in their local area.
The support we provided, included:
  • We contacted the school and obtained clarification around the son’s attendance and behaviour.
  • Our support worker contacted social services and was made aware the family’s caseworker was on sick leave and no one else was covering the case.
  • We contacted the youth offending team and were informed that although the son was on their records, due to staffing issues he had yet to be allocated a case worker.
  • Our team liaised with the Police and updated the officer in charge of the family’s case.
    • The Police stated they could not take any supportive action if the family refused to come forward with their concerns and details of who they believed to be grooming their child.
    • Our team highlighted the fact that should the family come forward, they would subsequently need relocation support due to them not feeling safe to remain in their local area. Thanks to our engagement the Police agreed to explore and address this concern.
  • Our support team completed a home visit and our client eventually felt comfortable enough to disclose that threats had been made against her son, which was why she was so reluctant to engage with services and professional agencies. We were then able to explain to her the dangers of keeping quiet.
  • We again helped our client to liaise with the Police, who were then able to outline to our client her available options, in addition to advising her of her son’s upcoming Court appearances.
  • Through this intervention, our client then revealed that due to her lack of English skills, her son was overlooking all their mail. She’d been completely unaware of the circumstances re. his upcoming court appearances as it transpired that her son was concealing information by hiding and destroying received mail. We were therefore able to suggest to the Police that all contact moving forward with our client be done via email.
  • Our team helped identify further steps that our client should take in order to support her son; she proceeded to look through her sons’ room and found the letters pertaining to the Police, court matters and his school. By utilising Google translate, we then helped our client go through all the letters and get a handle on all future appointments and dates.
The outcome was:
  • Our client is now able to attend meetings and court appearances in relation to her son.
  • She is also comfortable engaging with professionals. By being fully aware of what is occurring and what her options are, she is now able to make more informed decisions when it comes to both her and her son’s wellbeing.
  • Our client and her family continue to be supported by us to help mitigate any future or ongoing risks.


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