Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Happy Holiday?

I have just left a really upsetting meeting with a young offender (YO) & his mum. I do voluntary work with the YOT team, working with young people who have been given a referral order by the court, & most of the time (although I have been told I have been lucky) the YO engages with the process & the outcomes are really positive. Today I met a young man who is floundering, with a mum who is at the end of her rope & who has a partner who is leaving it all down to her & her relationship is reaching breaking point with son being blamed. Mother & son are fighting, both physically and verbally, mum is isolated, without transport, & it wouldn’t take much to find her on the doorstep of social services asking them to accommodate her son. If the young man doesn’t work with us, engaging with the process, we will have to return him to court where one of the options is a custodial sentence. He really is too vulnerable for either that or the care system, which I have renamed state neglect. Every Child Matters should also be renamed some children matter sometimes!

Although there is a brilliant organisation we are referring mum to, which will offer her great support, nothing will happen now until after Christmas. The season when we imagine everyone having a nice, family, time enhances her sense of desperation because she really isn’t having either. Did you know the suicide rate spiked after the 1998 election? People who were depressed saw the (misplaced!) euphoria of others, couldn’t engage with it at all but their perception of the happiness of others, led to a greater feeling of isolation & bleakness. Holiday seasons also matter & I am all too aware that this could lead to a crisis for mum.
I just needed to share.

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Blogger madmary said...

Helen, I have lots of clients in heartbreaking situations. It can get too much sometimes; to know that there are lives out there which we feel are beyond our personal wit to change. We think it should be possible but it's not. You are doing your bit, which is fantastic. If you do yours, and I do mine, and others do theirs and we shame the rest of them into action, who knows.

You have a good Christmas girl, you deserve it!


9:11 PM  
Blogger ed iglehart said...

Hugs is all I can say. Hugs. Hugs Hugs

12:52 AM  
Blogger Helen Sparkles said...

Thank you, I knew you would be brilliant!

1:09 PM  

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