Youth Advocacy Case Studies
Patience is 19 years of age and was referred to us when she was pregnant and homeless. Our Youth Advocate attended the housing office with Patience, assisting her to request accommodation from the council. As the council did not accommodate Patience immediately, the Youth Advocate referred Patience to a housing solicitor who provided Patience with supporting documentation and she was able to get temporary accommodation the same day.
Unsurprisingly with all the issues she was facing Patience was very anxious about her pregnancy and so we linked her up with a volunteer mentor who could meet with her on a fortnightly basis and support her throughout the rest of her pregnancy. At the time of referral Patience did not have any income and we supported her to access the relevant benefits and now Patience has a regular income. We were also able to access our hardship fund in order to be able to provide Patience with some of the necessities for her upcoming newborn baby.
Sarah, a 15 year old girl, had never been in trouble with the police before. One evening, drunk with an acquaintance, they entered a pub asking to use the toilets. The bar staff did not want them to use the toilets and a physical fight ensued. Sarah’s only role was to step in and help her friend who was on the ground.
Sarah was arrested and charged with assault and affray. In the run up to the case the Local Authority wanted Sarah to sign an Acceptable Behaviour Contract which included a condition not to see her boyfriend. JfK intervened and we ensured that the Borough would not implement any contract until the conclusion of her case. Eventually the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case against Sarah. The Borough therefore had no grounds to pursue the Contract.
Without our intervention Sarah and her mother would have agreed a contract that Sarah would have broken. They were not aware that there were no legitimate grounds for the contract.
John, 18, became homeless and without a National Insurance card/number he was unable to be placed in a hostel. He was also unable to claim housing benefit, council tax benefit or apply for certain jobs. He contacted Jfk, who assisted him with his application for his National Insurance Number, smoothed out a variety of administrative mishaps and ensured that his application was expedited efficiently. John was then able to be placed in a hostel and apply for housing benefit.
Maria, 14, was charged with s18 GBH. She was very distressed about her involvement in this incident and JfK started mentoring her on a weekly basis. JfK arranged for Maria to attend anger management counselling access services as well as a youth run magazine in which Maria was trained by a BAFTA award winning film producer. She began to contribute to the magazine on a regular basis with new articles, interviews and graphic designs idea. Six months later, Maria went on to produce a film on young people in the criminal justice system which was played at BAFTA. Maria is now engaging in full-time education and is expected to obtain her GCSE's.
Bill, 15, has had quite a unstable life. Bill's mother died in a car accident and he has never met his father. Bill moved to England after his mother died and initially stayed with a family relative. Due to criminal allegations, Bill was moved into a foster placement and then in earlier this year was moved into a children's home outside his local borough. This impacted Bill’s schooling severely – social services neglected to find him a replacement school which meant Bill has been unable to attend school for the last 7 months and so missed his GSCEs. JfK Law assisted Bill at his “Looked After Child” review, where it was decided that Bill is to engage on a GCSE course with educational support. His social worker will also now be responsible for ensuring that Bill can access mental health services which will also provide him with the emotional support he needs.
Bill is also very interested in becoming an professional football player and JfK Law are helping Bill to access local football clubs with the intention of later requesting football scouts to come and watch Bill play. If successful in impressing the scouts, Bill will hopefully go onto train at a professional football academy.
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