David’s Story

David a young male, was referred to Common Thread at the age of 12.  David had been exposed to severe and prolonged childhood neglect and abuse.  David had witnessed domestic violence between his parents, along with parental drugs/alcohol addictions and mental health challenges.  David also missed a significantly high level of his early childhood education and had disengaged from school. He had a poor diet and extreme dental decay.  David had not received necessary nurturing care and support in his early years and had been placed at considerable risk within the community.  David was being used and involved in criminal activity with local gangs involved in the drug scene.  After periods of being placed on the At risk Register along with his siblings, David was made subject to Compulsory Supervision Measures.   He was placed in two Foster Care placements, which had subsequently broken down before joining Common Thread. David did no want to live with Foster Carers and wanted to be home. David had been denied the opportunity to develop appropriate attachments with his main care-givers and this was further compounded by the loss of his father, followed closely by the sudden death of his mother. David displayed anger and aggression and had unresolved issues around separation and loss.

On initially joining Common Thread, David tried hard to disrupt his placement and refused to engage.  David did not want to be ‘in care’, and wanted to be living with his grandmother, who had maintained contact with him during his time at Common Thread.  After continually testing the boundaries and the staff team’s commitment to him, David began to respond to the consistent therapeutic care and support provided.

A robust multi-agency care plan was identified and focussed work around thoughts and feelings and consequential thinking was initiated.  David began to respond to the structured boundaries and positive relationships with his care team.  This incorporated appraisal and encouragement throughout.  Further focussed work around keeping himself safe and identifying peer pressure enabled David to form his own identity and recognise risks within the community.  David started to attend Common Thread School, at first on a part-time timetable which was increased to full-time.  David thrived in the small environment and went on to attain National 4/5 qualifications in line with his age and stage of development within the national curriculum.

Bereavement counselling had been identified within his care plan, and David was able to respond to this via music therapy, in a way, which was unique to him.  David did not like talking about his life or personal situation however he was able to write songs, which allowed him to open up in a safe way.  This helped David become more resilient and to deal with the difficulties he had experienced.


After a period of time, David returned to live in the local community with his grandmother, attending the local mainstream secondary school to continue his education. David continues to progress very well.

The above information depicts a real Common Thread case study. The name of the young person involved has been changed to protect their identity.

To read Amy’s Story please click here.