Social worker not told about assessment of teen by teen

Gaia Pope disappeared without telling her social worker that she had been through a mental health evaluation weeks prior to her disappearance, according to an inquest.

Social worker not told about assessment of teen by teen

Gaia Pope disappeared without telling her social worker that she had been through a mental health evaluation weeks prior to her disappearance, according to an inquest.

Sarah Lock stated to Dorset Coroner's Court that she last saw the 19-year old on 17 October 2017. This was four days before her family brought her to Poole Hospital in concern.

Ms. Pope was evaluated under the Mental Health Act, but she was later discharged.

She was reported missing on November 7, and she was found dead eleven days later.

She was found near Swanage on a cliff and died of hypothermia.

The inquest heard that the teenager had suffered from severe epilepsy as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

She was also concerned about the possible release from prison of her accuser of rape.

Miss Lock stated to the court that she wasn't informed about the assessment. If she had known, she would have made arrangements to meet Miss Pope to discuss the matter.

Rachael Griffin was the senior coroner for Dorset and asked the witness: "If you were contacted, would you have tried to contact Gaia?"

"That would have provided you with an opportunity to talk to her and assess her needs."

Miss Lock responded: "Absolutely yes. To find out if she needed any ongoing support for her mental health and epilepsy.

Ms Griffin wanted to know if this was "an occasion missed" to discuss her requirements, and Miss Lock responded: "Absolutely."

Miss Lock stated that changes were made and that social workers are now aware of any Mental Health Act assessments.

Inquest heard that Miss Pope made a housing application for Bournemouth to live in supported accommodation. However, she didn't disclose any concerns about her mental state.

Miss Lock was not in touch with any other agencies until she learned of the disappearance.

She said, "If I had it, it would be in mine case notes. So no."

The social worker was asked if there was anything she could have done to help Gaia when she was searching for housing and stayed between addresses.

Miss Lock stated that the 19-year old "didn’t raise any concern" while she was still with her family and friends.

She said, "I wasn’t concerned that anyone she was living with didn’t know how she could support her",

The inquest continues.

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