Alex came to live with her foster carers after her relationship with her grandmother broke down. She has no other family members, or at least she doesn't know where they are, so she ran away from home and ended up being taken to hospital after becoming involved in a violent altercation with a group of teenage girls.
Alex's foster carers helped her to recover from this. At first, she presented as shy, quiet (though polite) and vulnerable. She was very impressionable, had low self-esteem and was superficially self-harming. She also required some encouragement around personal hygiene and maintaining a healthy diet. Getting her to stay in school for a full day seemed almost impossible – she just didn't want to go.
Alex had also been used to coming and going as she pleased. For the first few weeks, she would go out and not come back until very late at night. Alex's Social Worker was very worried about this, as she felt that Alex was at risk of sexual exploitation. Alex refused to say where she had been, or engage anyone in conversation. Alex's foster carers worked in partnership with the local police to reduce the risk of Alex getting into trouble by going missing. Internet was restricted and she had a curfew with a rewards system in place.