Case study 1

A real Channel case involving a 15 year old male (The case is real but the names have been changed). The case study looks at what was making Reece vulnerable and what multi agency actions were taken to share and reduce the risk.

Reece is 15 years old, he attends a local secondary school, his predicted GCSE grades are poor. There are little employment opportunities in the area he lives.

Reece lives with his father Steve and three younger brothers, their relationship is difficult, his father is unemployed and although their father has never been physically violent towards any of his four sons he does not take responsibility for their care or welfare and spends all afternoon, evening and late into the night getting drunk with his friends, then remains in bed all morning.

Reece looks after his three brothers and has little time to himself, he has few friends and is often absent from school to look after his brothers.

Reece’s parents divorced two years ago and his father was arrested twice for violence towards his mother.

Reece returned from school one day and unexpectedly found his mother had fled to a domestic violence refuge. Reece felt betrayed by his mother who left without him. Reece still feels very bitter though has not spoken to anyone about how he feels in case he is perceived as ‘soft’. Reece has not heard from his mother since she left.

In the evenings Reece and his brothers play Call of Duty, their favourite level is killing Taliban in Pakistan. Reece particularly enjoys this because his cousin, Ryan, was killed while on a tour of Afghanistan with the British Army in 2006. Reece was a young child when he was killed and idolised him. He wants to join the army for the prestige of being a soldier and to kill in retribution for Ryan’s death.

Reece is on the internet looking at photos mainly because he doesnt read very well. There are no filters on their internet site and Reece and his bothers frequently access inappropriate online content, He increasingly searches the internet for groups that are active in supporting the British Army and wounded veterans but are also aggressive towards Muslim extreme groups.

Reece recently watched a video of a far-right group who were demonstrating against immigration in a local city, he saw a number of Asian men shouting abuse at the group. At the end of the video, the leader of the far-right group urged people to join them and attend the next demonstration to protest against what was described as “Muslim Migrants Taking Your Jobs”.
Reece intends to join the demonstration and if he finds opportunity to exact some retribution for Ryan’s death he is unsure how far he will go.

His school had real worries about Reece and following a meeting between Education Welfare and Social Services, Reece was referred to Prevent over concerns of his behaviour and ideological stance. The Channel panel looked at Reece's case and requested that Social Care work with the family in an attempt to build better relationships. It was a clear factor that Dad was struggling to cope, initially he was resistant as he believed the children would be taken away from him. Social Services worked with Steve providing him with parenting skill workshops, a referral was made to Health services and Steve joined a programme for alcohol dependency.

Reece is now finding that his Dad is starting to take more responsibility for parenting; although their relationship is better there remains some friction which Social Care Team Around the Family (TAF) and Children’s Services are working on. The Call of Duty game has been removed from the house and Steve has started to monitor his son’s internet access.

A specialist intervention provider – James - has been commissioned by the Channel panel to work with Reece regarding his ideological views. The intervention provider saw Reece twice a week initially but this has now been reduced to once a week. The intervention provider provides positive support and seeks to show immigration and issues that Reece articulates from a balanced and all round perspective.

Reece still retains a small number of the views that he has found on the internet but is becoming more informed and is able to critically draw his own conclusions about issues rather than accept without question the views of one group.

Reece has returned to school and although he is attending three times a week he is on a stepped programme of return and will be back at school full time after Easter break. Reece is accessing enhanced tutoring from school to provide him opportunity to take vocational exams so he might be employed in a skill based work role when he leaves school.

Reece now believes that his future has hope and potential. Reece has started asking about his mother and hopes that he might be reconnected with her.