Taras Story

Tara's Story


Herts Young Homeless were contacted by the Specialist Adolescent Service (SASH) from Herts County Council regarding a young person, Tara, in Hitchin as they were concerned about drug and mental health issues. Tara was not living in the family home at that time as she had been caught selling drugs.

There was evidence that she had been groomed into criminal exploitation. This is sadly a regular occurrence with county lines gangs. These are criminal gangs who have expanded their activities out of urban areas into more rural areas. These gangs often coerce or manipulate young people and those with mental health difficulties or addiction problems. Young people in vulnerable situations, such as being homeless or at risk of being homeless, are at a high risk of becoming targets.

Tara had completely slipped through the net; her school had not raised safeguarding concerns and SASH were never made aware of her until close to her 18th birthday. Tara was willing to work with hyh but was wary of professionals - she didn’t understand why she had never had any support but everyone wanted to get involved in helping her now. It took time and patience to gain her trust.

Tara had been neglected from a young age, her parents had recently turned their lives around and had stepped up, but previous parental alcohol abuse had resulted in serious trauma for Tara.

The case was referred to hyh’s Family Mediation Team and to our Dual Diagnosis Worker. The Dual Diagnosis Worker was able to provide Tara support with her drug addiction and mental health and in time, thanks to mediation, Tara was able to return home. This provided her with a more stable foundation on which to build her life.

A referral was also made to the mental health charity Mind for longer term support so that Tara could continue to grow and thrive.



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