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A Girl in Danger

DILEMMA
How are the interests of a vulnerable young girl best served?

As a school counsellor, you have been supporting a young girl—now in Year 9—for two years. Her mother has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and the girl has spent long periods of her life in foster care. These experiences have been very unhappy for her and all she has ever wanted was to be with her mother.

Now her mother seems to have things back on track, and for the past six months the girl has been back at home, and is happy and doing well at school. One of the conditions of the mother having custody is that her old boyfriend—a convicted child abuser—stay away. Now the girl has told you that the old boyfriend has been coming back to the house. She says he doesn’t stay over and that she has nothing to do with him. She definitely wants to stay with her mother, and you know she is happy and doing well at school for the first time since you’ve known her.

What should you do?


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