Children and Young People's Stories
Toby’s* mum called Grampian Women’s Aid for support because Toby told her that he doesn’t feel listened to when people are making decisions about his contact with his abusive dad. Toby is becoming unwell in the lead up to contact taking place and is really unsettled once he returns home from contact. Toby’s mum is worried about the effect that contact is having on Toby’s relationship with her because Toby’s dad is trying to influence his view of his mum by telling him things about what his mum has done or said that are untrue. Toby’s dad is also trying to control what Toby thinks and feels more generally and buying him gifts when Toby behaves in a way that his dad likes. Toby’s mum notices that Toby’s dad is now trying to be coercively controlling to Toby, like he used to be towards her. For example, Toby’s dad tells him that he must walk and talk a certain way, he should be friends with certain people but not others and people will laugh at him and think that he is weak if he meets with a mental health counsellor for support.
Toby was allocated his own 1:1 Children and Young Person’s Worker who provided support directly to Toby. He advised his worker that the thing that he liked best about support was knowing that someone was there for him- they did not judge him, and information was only shared with others (including his mum) when he wanted this to happen, or information needed shared to keep Toby or others safe from harm. Toby was supported to learn about children’s rights to know how others should treat him. Toby was also supported to develop his understanding of domestic abuse. Toby’s worker helped him identify different ways to keep himself safe. With permission, Toby’s worker helped represent his views, when further decisions were made about him.
Toby has helped shape the support provided by the Children and Young Person’s service by giving suggestions about how activities could be adapted to suit children and young person’s needs. When Toby was closed to the Children and Young Person’s Service, he agreed to be contacted in the future to help develop the service further.
*Toby's name has been changed to protect his identity
Jane* was referred to the Children and Young Person’s Team by the local social work team due to her past experiences of domestic abuse. She no longer has contact with the abusive dad but would like support to understand what has happened to her. Jane can experience low confidence and low self-worth, which could be due to the way that she was treated. Jane’s social worker is concerned that Jane has formed her own relationships which have been abusive and requires support to learn more about healthy relationships and improve self-worth.
Jane was allocated her own Children and Young Person’s Worker who supported her to understand her past and current experience of domestic abuse. Jane wanted support but did not want to meet her worker at her Academy, so sessions took place in the local community instead. Jane’s worker helped her understand that she was not responsible for her dads’ abusive behaviour, even if she had been told this. Jane was supported to build her resilience to adverse circumstances. Through sessions it was identified that Jane was a young carer for her sister so additional support was sought from a young carers support group, allowing Jane some time to have fun and relax.
Jane has enjoyed attending some trips organised by the Children and Young Person’s Team during the school holidays to meet other young people and spend time with her mum and sister participating in activities that financially they would have been unable to do otherwise. This trips have enabled her to build friendships with others in similar circumstances and have helped to develop Jane's social skills.
*Jane's name has been changed to protect his identity