Below is a case study taken from our Level 1 Introduction to Child Protection training course.

Debra is a 14 year old teenager who lives at home with her mother, father, older sister and 2 year old nephew. Over the past 3 years, she’s become quite a close friend of your daughter. They first met when Debra moved onto your street and they started secondary school together.

She used to be quite a happy child, always a smile on her face and always a story to tell. Over the years, you’ve noticed that she appears to have become quite withdrawn. She’s really quiet and shy now and it’s getting more and more difficult to engage her in conversation.

You’ve also noticed her clothing always seems too big for her and quite tatty too. However, she wears the same big hooded parka coat all year round and never wants to take it off. It could do with a wash.

When trying to talk to Debra she just hangs her head looking down at the floor and appears not to want to talk at all. She never smiles much anymore and really looks quite frail hiding inside that big coat. She has a great appetite though, always managing to polish off the pizza and snacks at tea when she visits. She never leaves a thing.

She doesn’t have many friends. Your daughter says the kids laugh at her at school because of her clothes, and her glasses are so dated now, she just isn’t trendy. Your daughter also tells you Debra told her she’s not very happy at home. Her sister is quite nasty to her and always picking on her.

She says she’s told her Mother but she didn’t listen and now she’s thinking of running away. She says the only thing stopping her is her young nephew. She’s worried who would look after him as she has to look after him most nights after school and at weekends because everyone else is out working.

Would you know what do if faced with this situation?  If you would like more details on our child protection training courses, please click here.