Finn and Lucy were living off scraps — old baked beans, stale pizza and flat fizzy drink. Finn would give most of the scraps to Lucy to stop her constant crying.
Finn's world felt ok when his mum and dad were together, but after they split everything changed. Mum was around less and less. Then she got a boyfriend. He lived past the shops. That's when Mum stopped coming home every night. Sometimes she was home after school and Finn liked that. But after one big party, things got worse — Finn and his 6-year-old sister, Lucy, didn't see their mum for 3 days straight.
Finn biked over to his mum's boyfriend's house to ask her for food. But his mum told him to f*** off. Finn noticed a new bruise on her face, despite the makeup.
Finn wondered what he was doing wrong. He felt confused and angry. Biking home, he forced back tears as he thought about what he would tell Lucy. What would they do? How could he feed her?
As he got closer to home, he saw his dad standing in the driveway. Finn didn't see his old man often — his mum wouldn't let him. Finn jumped off his bike and ran straight into his dad's arms.
“Finn and his 6-year-old sister, Lucy, didn't see their mum for 3 days straight.”
Finn & Lucy no longer have to experience neglect
“With his dad's encouragement, Finn joined a local rugby team and his self-esteem is being rebuilt.”
Dad took Finn and Lucy straight to his house and called the Police, who reached out to Barnardos. Barnardos assigned a social worker to Finn's family. She helped Finn and Lucy understand what they had experienced and that it wasn't their fault. She also worked with their dad, giving him the support and skills he needed so he could help Finn and Lucy grow up safe, healthy and understood.
Finn and Lucy now live with their dad and no longer have to experience neglect. They are able to have a visit with their mum every month. With his dad's encouragement, Finn joined a local rugby team and his self-esteem is being rebuilt.
Because of people like you, 10,500 Kiwi kids received life-changing support from Barnardos last year.
Will you donate today to help kids like Finn and Lucy get the help they deserve?
*To ensure the privacy and safety of everyone concerned, names in this story have been changed and actors have been used for all photography.