Scenario 3: disclosure of harm

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1. Situation

Ashley is a single mum, unemployed, with two children under school age. She uses the local library regularly for Bookbug sessions and for some rest for herself  and the children. – all three always seem tired.

One day she informs library staff that her older son has been diagnosed with asthma. She asks for help in finding information about childhood asthma so that she can manage his condition as well as possible.

As Sarah, the library assistant, is showing her the NHS inform and Asthma UK websites, when Ashley starts crying and says she doesn’t know how she is going to cope. She reveals that her ex-partner has started coming to the house, taking money from her purse, threatening and sometimes hitting her. She shows Sarah bruises on her arm.

2. Response

Given the risk to Ashley and the children, Sarah follows organisational policy to inform Social Work of the situation.  When she escalates the situation she also recommends contacting the police so that they can advise Ashley on personal safety.

Sarah gives Ashley the Women’s Aid helpline details. They look through the safety tips  and rights information on the Women’s Aid website, and Sarah prints off relevant information for Ashley.

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