Joel is 9. He was constantly worried about the safety of his family.
He worried about Mum and Dad hurting each other, fighting about money and Dad going to jail.
He worried about his younger brother yelling at him and hitting him.
His biggest worry was that his little sister would stop breathing when he put her to bed at night.
The ongoing violence between his parents has made Joel’s home unsafe and stressful. While the situation made his brother act out, becoming violent and disruptive, Joel turned inward. He was withdrawn, anxious and felt responsible for caring for his 2-year-old sister.
Thanks to kind people like you, Joel recently took part in a Barnardos Children’s Safety Programme.
Today, Joel is doing a lot better
“He’s been able to work through what he had experienced, learning what is, and isn’t his responsibility.”
He’s been able to work through what he experienced, learning what is, and isn’t his responsibility. Most importantly, he’s been able to talk about his worries and learn strategies for coping with them.
His social worker was also able to share his worries, especially about his sister dying, with his parents. It was a powerful way to show them just how much their actions were affecting their children. It was hard for Joel's parents to hear, but it really got through to them and helped them take responsibility and resolve to change.
Now, Joel is a much more relaxed and confident child. His family and home are safer.
During the COVID-19 restrictions, the Children’s Safety Programme, which is usually run as a group activity, had to be modified. However, we continued to work with children like Joel, providing support, information and safety plans.
Throughout the lock down, incidences of family violence increased. We are receiving more and more requests for assistance. Now, more than ever we need your support.
*To ensure the privacy and safety of everyone concerned, names in this story have been changed and actors have been used for all photography.