Case Studies – Martina* - Shared Lives Scheme not disclosed
Here at Shared Lives Plus, we have been looking for ways to integrate ourselves further with the schemes across the UK and to better unite. One such way to do this and to hopefully gain some media focus on the side was to publish case studies from these Shared Lives schemes on our website.
As such, here is our first entry marking the dramatic turn around Martina* had once moving into her Shared Lives arrangement.
Earlier this year, Martina was referred to one of the UK’s Shared Lives schemes in a very vulnerable state. She had been sold by her family and was trafficked into the UK not once, but twice. She was subjected to horrific kinds of abuse during this time, which left her scarred. Her perpetrator avoided suffering for they did to Martina because she never identified him. She had plenty of sound evidence in her favour, but out of fear of what might happen, she was never brave enough to say anything.
When she arrived at Shared Lives, her life was in tatters and her case was clearly a highly sensitive one. She was unable to communicate at all English and was very frightened. Through very careful consideration and through the Shared Lives matching scheme, Martina was introduced to experienced Shared Lives carers.
Despite all that the awful circumstances she had found herself in such a short amount of time, Martina put all of her trust into her carers. And in the seven months since moving into Shared Lives, she has flourished and turned her life around.
She can now communicate well in English. She has a solid and stable home. She is developing strong friendships in her community. She is allowed to be sad when she chooses, but now she also feels joy and happiness in her new life. This complete turnaround is fully credited to the remarkable relationship and care and love from her Shared Lives carers, who she now calls ‘Mamma’ and ‘Papa’. Recently, Martina returned to the Shared Lives scheme office to give the officer who dealt with her case a gift. On the box she had stuck a note that said: “Thank you for choosing Mamma and Papa for my family”.
Without Shared Lives, it is frightening to think of where Martina could have ended up. The success of this arrangement has been the result of amazing Shared Lives carers, her wonderful placement officer, but most of all, an amazing young woman, Martina.
*Martina’s name was changed to protect her identity considering the delicacy of her situation.