Sarah was 6 years old when she came to Safety Net (UK) following a referral from Children’s Services, she was living with long term foster parents. She had witnessed domestic violence between her birth parents, her older siblings and between her siblings and her mother. She had experienced sexualised behaviour from one of her siblings and sexual abuse from a known family member. Sarah was demonstrating many trauma symptoms, she was confused, frightened, had unclear sexual boundaries and found it very difficult to make sense of her world, she would often wet the bed, her behaviour at home was difficult and she had frequent long lasting tantrums, often hiding under the bed or covers.


We worked with both Sarah and her foster parents over a period of 6 months using both directive and non-directive play therapy sessions. We worked with the family’s social worker attending all review meetings and producing regular reports.


Since coming to play therapy sessions at Safety Net (UK) Sarah’s tantrums and high level of distress have reduced. She responds more readily to the strategies her foster parents are using and has an understanding of what is expected of her at home.  She can play alone, has friends at school and she loves singing, using singing as a way of calming herself down when she has been agitated or upset. She is no longer worried about past abusive or frightening events, and is able to deal with past trauma.