Sara Transparent Final Draft

Sara

10-year-old Sara was isolated from other children and defiant with her foster carer. By making clay models and talking to her Place2Be Counsellor, Sara’s trust for others grew and she began to flourish.

Sara argued with other children a lot and struggled to join in with their games. She daydreamed in class and wouldn’t ask for help. Her foster carer was worried that the placement would break down, because Sara seemed to reject her and refused to let her even brush her hair. Sara had been taken into care because of her mum’s struggles with addiction and mental health and didn’t trust the adults in her life.

Upon being referred to Place2Be by the Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at her school, Sara made it very clear that she didn’t like counselling at all. When her counsellor came to collect her, she would announce loudly to the class that she didn’t want to go with “that woman” because “Place2Be was boring”.

Nevertheless, Sara’s counsellor continued to encourage her to use the time as she wished. Gradually, Sara felt comfortable enough to play in the Place2Be room and allowed her counsellor to join in. Together they made a family of snails out of clay whom they painted and decorated in bright colours and placed carefully into Sara’s special box.

One day, Sara explained that snails are special animals because “they carry their home on their backs”. She and her counsellor began to tell the story of the snails and agreed that they had learnt to become self-sufficient as babies and nurture themselves because their needs were neglected. Telling this story with her counsellor helped Sara to talk about her own isolation and lack of trust in others. 

As Sara’s confidence in her counsellor grew, she spoke more and more about her feelings. Her teacher commented that she was calmer, happier and more engaged in class, while her foster carer explained that Sara now allowed her to brush her hair and to comfort her when she was upset. As her counselling drew to a close, Sara decided to sculpt something special: a cherry pie to ‘feed’ her counsellor and reflect how nurtured she had felt during the work they had done together.

After the sessions finished, Sara came on leaps and bounds. She became more comfortable with her foster carer and made a smooth transition from primary to secondary school. She thrived in class and got on better with her peers.

Small change makes a big difference

  • £7Could support a child's
    lunchtime
    drop-in session
  • £20Could support a
    parent with one-to-one
    counselling
  • £95Could provide our
    whole school
    service
    to a child for a year

A parent's story

After leaving her abusive husband, Marcia was finding it hard to cope. She was offered counselling sessions with Place2Be at her daughter's school