With the rubbish weather it gave us the opportunity to sit and chat about life in general. James (name changed) has opened up a lot more recently and was telling me more about his life before coming into care.
It’s always hard, in these situations, not to interrupt or to make comments. My advice is not to say anything, let the young person talk, without interruption, and just listen. That way you will get more out of the child and the words will flow a lot easier.
Some of the details I have heard over the years have been heart breaking and make you wonder why people decide to become parents. The level of abuse has been awful in some cases and it is obvious that the young person will need some form of psychological assistance in later life.
I lost my Mother at a young age and it had a really profound effect on me as a young man, however the rest of my childhood was pretty positive.
For a young person to go through physical and mental abuse, be without essentials such as decent clothing and food, to witness acts of violence and drug use and in one case witness their Mum working as a Prostitute that is going to have a serious effect.
It is sad when you sometimes have contact with a young person who you cared for and see that they have followed in the same path as their parents, it’s like a form of learned behaviour.
James has had a number of withheld number calls and is of the opinion that it’s his Mum. He’s told me that he has no wish to talk to her, something I have told his Social Worker.
I have asked him on a couple of occasions if he wants to stick with no contact and he has agreed. I’ve suggested maybe an email just highlighting what is going on in his life and maybe an update regarding school without naming the school, obviously.
He has said that he will think about it and has asked if I would help him with it, if he decides to do it. But he is still feeling very positive about school and has had a chat with his mates about it. I promised him that after his first week at school I will drive him over to see his mates as some of them, and their parents, provided James with a great deal of support in difficult times. James likes that idea and has called his friends to ask them to keep that weekend free.
So we are now playing FIFA on the Play-Station and I’m letting James win, honestly, so he doesn’t go to bed with the hump. I like the fact that he is competitive; it’s a trait that will serve him well as he gets older. He seems to want to prove people wrong especially family and his old school teachers. I will encourage that for the time that he is with me and offer all the support he needs over the coming weeks or months.
A Blogging Foster Carer’s Diary.