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Case study: Sarah

Pinetree Court received an urgent referral concerning Sarah, a young lady whose previous placement had broken down severely following an incident with her mother which had required police involvement and resulted in her being Sectioned and a pending court case.

Sarah had been diagnosed with autism and severe learning difficulties and had previously received support from outside agencies whilst she was living at home with both her mum and dad. Prior to Pinetree, Sarah was placed in a temporary psychiatric unit which proved unsettling for her and her family as she wasn’t familiar with hospital surroundings and became a victim of bullying at the hands of other patients, thus her parents were keen to have her moved quickly.

Previous providers had commented upon Sarah’s behaviour and summarised her as a dangerous individual. Additionally, the police obtained a substantial amount of evidence against Sarah regarding the incident with her mother, and had also raised concerns about her level of risk.

Prior to her placement the clinical team met with her parents to reassure them that Pinetree’s assessment protocols, clinical practices and treatment and rehabilitation pathways would be appropriate for their daughter and that a time-limited care pathway would be planned with the aim of returning Sarah to her family quickly and safely.

What did Sarah and her family want to achieve?

Key goals for Sarah were to:

  • Maintain contact with her family and key attachments throughout the rehabilitation process.
  • Help both Sarah and her family develop strategies to manage her behaviour and minimise challenging incidents
  • Access amenities outside in the community to maintain a level of normality and exercise her citizenship
  • To develop independent life skills
  • Move back to her family and community

What did we do to achieve these goals?

After a full clinical assessment and in conjunction with Sarah’s parents and Commissioners a person-centred Positive Behavioural Support plan was drawn up which detailed:  her behaviours, why she behaved a certain way, her level of risk, the medication she required, why she was with us and her family’s involvement.

Our team also supported Sarah’s parents to educate them on the behaviours he was showing along with prevention techniques and non-restrictive practises to eliminate the risk of physical incidents.

At Sarah’s prior placement she hadn’t been given any activities to engage in, so the Pinetree team developed a very active timetable for her both to develop her life skills and distract her from her pending court case.

Sarah fully engaged in all her planned participated extremely well, whilst her parents would call every day and meet weekly with our team whilst Commissioners were kept updated on Sarah’s progress and also in improving interaction between Sarah and her parents.

What were the Outcomes for Sarah?

Due to Sarah’s high level of compliancy over the course of her 3 months of treatment at Pinetree Court, during her Court Tribunal it was decided that, on condition Sarah continued to follow her PBS plan, she no longer posed a risk to her parents or carers and that she would have her Section removed and move back into the community and live with her parents again.

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