Georgia came into foster care at three years old straight from hospital where she had been treated for a suspicious injury and very severe nappy rash. Due to family circumstances, she seldom left the house and had no contact with other children or the wider community.

At first it was thought that she might have learning difficulties, but it quickly became clear that it was lack of opportunities and neglect that had been the problem, as she is a very bright, capable child. She is now performing significantly above her peers in literacy and has a wide range of hobbies and interests outside the home.

Lack of contact with the outside world made it difficult for her to understand social situations. She often became very upset when she left a friend's house or a family day out as she didn’t understand that she could go back another day. At first she also had no idea how to express enjoyment and excitement.

Now she jumps around laughing like all the other children, she just needed the chance for repeated experiences to show her what to expect and how to react. She has grown in confidence and now even competes in talent shows and gym competitions.

Georgia loves sports as well as Italian food and eating out. She is a very “girly” girl, loves shopping, clothes and Disney Princesses. She loves reading but does not like maths at school or being ordered around.

Georgia had a fear of water, possibly due to an accident she suffered to her eye in the bathroom aged two. At first she would only tolerate being bathed in an inch of water in a baby bath with swimming goggles on. Gradually she gained confidence and moved into the big bath, and over the last six years her fear has gone and now she is a good swimmer, one of the best in her year.

She still panics a little when plans change without warning, but she is learning to cope with change better as she gets older. Georgia has a promising future ahead of her and with extra support she should do well at high school and beyond.

This is a real-life case study, but we have changed the name and image of the child to protect their identity.

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