Working with Ex-Offenders: Gibran Case Studies

Case A

‘A’ asked for a one-to-one on the 21st January 2014. ‘A’ is aged 20; she had experienced homelessness at various points in her life. ‘A’ told the Outreach Worker that there were times when she felt angry and frustrated.

When explored a bit further it was noted that these feelings of anger escalated when people told her she was a ‘bad mother’. This had led to her offending behaviour. There were a range of complexities including abuse as a child, the removal of her own child and continued negative experiences which had contributed to her negative perception of herself. ‘A’ presented as vulnerable, with possible learning difficulties; she also had low self-esteem and stated that she had never had any friends and felt very isolated. Her immediate needs included help with an NHS dentist and opening a bank account – these very practical things were important to her.

A's future plans were to:
  • Secure her tenancy agreement – to increase stability.
  • Attend college – to widen her future prospects of employment.
  • Access parenting skills – she felt this would be a positive step to help her obtain longer contact with her child
  • Access BWW – to help with her emotional difficulties.

Gibran loaned ‘A’ a notebook computer so that she could begin accessing the Big White Wall straight away. Gibran also paid the first month subscription to an internet dongle; ‘A’ was able to finance the following month herself. The Outreach Worker provided weekly one-to-one support; exploring courses for her to access, attending the local library with her to register for Learn Direct, linking up with Gwent Families First and supporting her to explore options regarding parenting courses. ‘A’ has now completed her unpaid work hours but continues to access support from Gibran.

An Outreach Worker meets with ‘A’ in her community to support her with her action plan. ‘A’ is using the BWW and reported that she felt she was making progress with her depression and that her boyfriend had noticed a positive change in her attitude and wellbeing. ‘A’ has received 16 hours of one-to-one support to date, and this will continue until she no longer requires this.

Case B

‘B’ asked for a one-to-one on the 14th January 2014. Aged 20 years old, ‘B’ felt that access to university was prohibited to her due to her conviction. ‘B’ was upset and disillusioned; she had completed a college course and achieved a distinction but felt it a waste of time as she would not get into university.

During the weeks that followed, we:
  • Researched the universities that were providing the course that ‘B’ wanted to access.
  • Telephoned the appropriate universities and asked about their policy for disclosure and whether a DBS was a requirement of this particular course.
  • We provided information on disclosure and supported ‘B’ to draft a letter of disclosure.

Result:
‘B’ completed her unpaid work and was excited about her future in University – no further work was required.

Case C

‘C’ asked for a one-to-one on the 18th March 2014. Aged 22 years old, ‘C’ presented as a vulnerable woman with some complex needs; her self-esteem and confidence were so low that she was not able to contact people on the telephone and express her needs. Her one-to-one identified that she needed support with housing, children, employment training and education, and court fines.

We have been working on the following issues:
  • Children: Contact was broken with her children when she went into custody. Gibran contacted and liaised with the relevant people at Social Services and facilitated a conversation between ‘C’ and Social Services, helping her to re-establish contact with her children.
  • Housing: We completed a common housing application with ‘C’ and provided her with information on housing benefit, how to access a paper bond and letting agents in the private sector that have landlords who accept paper housing bonds.

The work with ‘C’ continues as she works towards completing her unpaid work.

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