Emma’s Fostering Blog. Haircuts.
I just love taking Henry to the barber! He gets so excited.
We like to spend time with people who know and accept him as he has particularly strong interests in certain areas, and unfortunately very few other people share his interests. Meeting new people, joining conversations and recognising social cues are a nightmare for him and he can become anxious in unfamiliar places. We have a barber called Paul who we’ve been going to for a few years now, he knows Henry has special needs and he knows him quite well. As soon as Henry sits in the chair he can’t wait to tell him about ‘The Simpson’s’ his favourite program, he is an encyclopaedia of knowledge on this subject.
Paul is amazing, he has researched and remembers things that Henry has told him and always picks up with him, on where he left of. Even though Henry struggles putting sentences together, he will tell him all about the things he has done since his last visit and doesn’t seem miss anything out On one of our visits the shop it was so busy that people were waiting to be seen and he actually was applauded by the customers, which he enjoyed.
A neighbour reported to the police that she suspected a child was being left home alone, she was right to, and I applaud her, this little boy had been severely neglected. I will never forget how he turned up at my house with a bag of smelly clothes, and his Social worker advised me not to open the bag as they were so bad. His complexion was grey, looking into his eyes I saw no joy, no hope, just so desperately shut down.
It took a long time to help this child, so many emotional needs and it was the biggest challenge I had ever experienced as a Foster carer to date, there were times when I wanted to give up, but never did, this was Henry…
On reflection, hairdressers and barbers are in an ideal position to see the signs, especially if you visit regularly. They are the locations of open debates, voicing public concerns, and great at engaging people in discussions – they talk to us, and so we often end up talking about many different things. They could suspect a child is being abused, and it’s crucial to report it and to continue reporting each separate incidence.
Each report is a snapshot of what’s going on in the family, the more information provided, the better the chance of the child getting the help they deserve.
My thoughts are, it pains me to say this- even though the process for being approved as a foster carer is extremely rigorous – no system can realistically be fail-safe. Positions of trust- Foster Carer’s can abuse, so can, Police, Teacher, Youth worker, Priests, etc.… it’s not just parents or relatives that abuse children.
Emma – A Foster Caring Blogger – I Love What I Do!