Telephone call

Have you ever just sat there after a telephone call and never known what to think or say?  That is how I felt after hearing a call this week from a Residential Care Worker.  When I found out that a young person that I work with, received eight months in a Secure Training Centre.  

Hearing this call was particularly hard for me as I have been working with this young man for over five years; and had been the Social Worker, working with him to get the Care Order.  I have seen him grow from a neglected young boy into a troubled young man continuously fighting the demons and secrets he keeps tightly held onto.

With only 6 months left of statutory education, I was working with all professionals to ensure that he was able to leave school with a chance in succeeding in life post 18.  CAMH’s were working hard to engage him in therapy, Education were creating his own special creative package, YOS were working on his anger management and trying to reduce his criminal behaviour.  The young person had even asked for a Physcriatric assessment in his own desperation to understand his behaviour and ask for help.

There are only a few times when working with Teenagers that you can truely feel that you have made progress with them.  In this case with this young man, it was shortly before Christmas when he told me that “had he not been in care, he would have been dead if he was still living at home”. I felt that this had shown a lot of thought about his own circumstances and moreover a sign that he knew he was in the right place.

I know that there is a need to pay the consequences if you have committed a crime.  However, I can not help feel angry for this young man.  Angry that the magistrates did not take the time to listen to his story.  Angry because they reinforced everything I had been trying to prove wrong in his life.  I then stopped, and remembered that he was now sitting alone in a cell, I remembered that he would be searched and the anxiety that this would cause him for a male worker to search him.

My biggest fear that is now he has been introduced to another type of institutional care that he does not become used to it.  That when he comes out that he will still be willing to engage and want to break free of the cycle of self abuse.

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