Lost In Care

14 years working in residential children's homes. 5 years training foster carers and care staff. Trainee child therapist. 14 years in care as a child. Diary, anecdotes and rants about the good, bad and mediocre. Anonymised but all true.

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 3)

Sam’s leaving care package…

I am doing a “shadow shift” at a therapeutic community – it is part of their recruitment process – when I first meet Sam. He has just turned 10, he is skinny and small for his age with lank, greasy hair and wears Wellington boots and a black, quilted coat – both of which he refuses to take off indoors. Sam tells me he has lived there for a year. He seems fairly keen to get to know me – much to my relief because I am equally keen to show my potential employers how well I interact with children.

Continue reading

Jenny: the unimaginable and the untouchable…

I guess I’ll start with the bare facts:  Jenny had been living with her father until just under a year ago when she disclosed he was physically abusing her.  She was removed.  A few months later Jenny discloses her father sexually abused her.  He confesses but claims he didn’t do anything wrong because they were ‘in a relationship’.  Jenny’s father is charged with multiple counts of rape and possessing indecent images.  It is because of the material found on his hard drive that we can be certain the abuse of Jenny started when she was two-years-old. Continue reading

Judgments, assumptions, opinions…

What do you think of Donald Trump?  Seriously, think of some words you would use to describe him now.  I reckon most of the readers of this blog will have had negative thoughts to say the least – I am making an assumption but it is an assumption I would stake my life on.  Just out of interest, did you judge the behaviour and not the person?  Like we’re meant to?  I bet you didn’t.

Continue reading

Melancholia…

When I was about 20-years old, I shut myself away for a few weeks in the one room I was living in. I didn’t answer the phone or engage with the outside world in any way – other than to cash my dole cheque to buy food and baccy. The baccy ran out of course, so I would recycle my dog ends, and then recycle them again.  I can still remember the smell of my fingers.  Food would run out too of course, so occasionally I had to venture out and shoplift.

Continue reading

A wounded healer…

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.

Carl Jung

Carl Jung used the concept of “the wounded healer” (which he borrowed from Greek mythology) to describe his belief that psychoanalysts need to use their awareness and understanding of their own emotional struggles in order to help others with theirs.  He also believed  that through this process the analyst would help to heal him or herself.

Continue reading

Dear Mum…

I wonder where you are right now?  I am here – in my bedroom, in the house that I share, lying on my bed, propped up on pillows, legs bent to push this laptop close to my hands.   I can hear the breeze in the trees outside, the gentle thump of the tumble dryer downstairs, and a train passing. I can feel the weight and  heat of the laptop on my thighs and stomach.   I can feel my hair, still damp from a recent bath and a vague, but always with me,ache in my lower back – I assume it is an unavoidable symptom of the gradual onset of middle-age.  And I am thinking about you.

Continue reading

I can’t keep the children I work with safe (further thoughts)…

I recently wrote a piece for Community Care about the difficulties involved in keeping some looked after children safe and what I think needs to be done to address this.  If you haven’t already, you can read it here.  It received a much bigger response than anything else I have ever written – most of it positive or, at least, engaged with the issue, and some of it critical.

However, while it is of course flattering when people say nice things or agree with me on Twitter (I have an ego), I did not write it for these reasons.  Nor did I write it as clickbait for Community Care.   I wrote it because I am very worried about the issue and feel passionately about it.  It is for this reason I am pleased it got a bit of attention.

Continue reading

An Insecure Base

I said goodbye to Scarlett yesterday – tomorrow she moves to her fifth placement in the 18 months she has been “looked-after”.   She has been with us since Christmas Eve.  I will discuss why in a moment, but first:

What a cold, clinical and straight-out horrible word, it has just occurred to me, “placement” is.  There is a reason we use words like this as professionals – it’s a defence.  It protects us from having to confront the full reality of what is happening.  “Placement” doesn’t have quite the same emotional resonance as “home” does it?

Continue reading

Loss and abandonment…

It’s hard to be precise but, as I count them now, I reckon there were 18 adults who at different times across my childhood were responsible for my day-to-day care.  I have only seen one of them, my father, since I turned 16 (I’m nearly 40 now).

Each of these 18 adults represents a loss.  An ungrieved loss.  Of course not all losses are equal – as I have discussed elsewhere, not all these adults looked after me very well and I was glad to see the back of them.

Continue reading

The fruits of my labors…


In the kids home I work in there is a fake chalk board hanging on the wall with a recipe for happiness printed on it.  You may have seen the kind of thing, “1 cup of kindness, a pinch of understanding…” etc.   Suffice to say – I hate it.

Continue reading

They need to trust, not like you…

It is very common to hear relationships between staff and young people in care discussed in terms of whether the young person “likes” a particular adult or not.  Comments such as, “James doesn’t like Sue [staff]” are often heard in staff meetings and handovers.  Or even worse, “Billy and Sue [still staff] don’t get on”.  As if it is a relationship of equals and there is nothing more to think about here than a straightforward personality clash.

Continue reading

Older posts

© 2018 Lost In Care

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑