Children’s features - Laura and Mary

Laura is a friendly happy-go-lucky twelve year old who is doing quite well at school. She likes to be in charge and is quite often a little too bossy.

Mary is a year younger than her sister. She lacks confidence in many social situations and finds school work difficult.

Family History

Laura and Mary have been known to social services for over six years now. They both lived with their mother who tended to rely upon Laura quite a lot. Laura tended to have to get Mary up, breakfasted and to school in the morning and spent much of the evening doing the household chores. A decision was made to place them with foster carers with frequent visits to the family home which worked with a good degree of success. Upon the sudden and unexpected death of their mother a decision has been made to seek adopters for them.

Laura and Mary have had no contact with their father since Laura was about three and his whereabouts are not known. They have no contact with any members of their extended family.

Recent History

Since Laura and Mary have been placed with foster carers there have been two foster placements breakdowns. A major factor in these appears to have been the frequent and often loud arguments between them. They are currently placed with short-term foster carers.

Laura and Mary’s mum died just under six months ago and quite naturally this has had a great effect upon both of them but perhaps Mary has felt her loss more. Both appear to be coming to terms with their grief and both see their future within an adoptive family. One effect of the bereavement has been to bring them closer together and there have been signs that their arguments with each other are reduced. However, they can still be the best of friends and in the next moment the worst of enemies.


Laura is described by her teachers as very bright and expected to continue to do well at school. She is a well liked pupil and is also keen on gymnastics and netball.

Mary finds it a struggle to keep up with her classmates academically and she has been assessed as having moderate learning difficulties. Due to Mary’s frustration there have been some problems in class, particularly with her class mates. Mary’s teachers feels that she will need a lot of assistance and support from her new family with her education. Her class teachers report states “Mary finds her schoolwork difficult and her concentration tends to slip easily. When reprimanded she can become rather stubborn and uncooperative”

Laura and Mary’s headmaster agrees with these comments. “I think Mary finds her academic difficulties even more of a problem because of the apparent ease of her sister Laura to master things at school. Fortunately they are in different years. Mary is now receiving additional support for her learning difficulties but she has a lot of ground to make up and I don’t think we have yet seen her full academic potential. One thing I would like to stress is that both Mary and Laura enjoy coming to school”

Likes and Dislikes

SPORT: Laura is very athletic and plays a full part in school sports. She has joined a gymnastics club in the last year. Mary shows no interest in any sport.

FOOD: Laura and Mary “eat virtually anything you put in front of them”.

FAVOURITE POP STARS: “Both like the Spice Girls and Laura likes Liam of Oasis”