I have seen and heard about some awful practice by professionals that work with children and young people this past month. I have seen so many children being failed in one way or another. Some very close to me others I have read about online or seen on the news. Some of these failings are historical and I am seeing the impact on people as adults. I have so many blogs spinning around in my head to call people out. To speak the truth. Make people know.
And I will. We all know I will.
But, sitting here on my train, looking out the window and feeling reflective and maybe just a tad emotional I want to write this blog first. A blog about the thousands of professionals who are doing an outstanding…. no… epic job of helping, supporting, caring for and protecting our children and young people.
The nurses and doctors who don’t turn a blind eye to signs of neglect. Who question how and why a child is so dirty and grubby…. Who question the unexplained injuries. Who go above and beyond to try and make the neglected children receive the right medication and advice. Who clean up wounds on fingers…. Who supply medication in questionable circumstances. Who put the child first.
The people in policy and government who do give a fuck, who are not in it to win a popularity competition or see how high they can climb. The ones who scream and cry silently because they know kids are killing each other out there and no one is listening. Not really listening . Yet they go to work every day and fight the fight we cannot.
The health visitors who do question bruising, dirt, a child’s flinch. Who tell the parent that not changing a nappy frequently is not good enough and then hold that parent accountable if it happens again and put the child first.
The teachers who know full well they are not “just here to teach” that know they are also where to look and listen. To find coping strategies for anyone in their class who needs it. The teachers who don’t mock a child in front of others. Who can see beyond the behaviour and see the pain. The teachers who celebrate differences and not excuses them. The teachers who hears the girl bragging about what and who she has done at the weekend and never thinks “oh well…. we all know what she is like”
The support staff in schools who work just as hard as the teachers but get half the wage. The support staff that know that this child can’t sit still and listen. Who know a child has not had breakfast this morning so supplies a slice or two of toast. Who sews up ripped trousers. Glues broken shoes. Wipes fallen tears and tells the child they matter.
Those who work with children who have special educational needs. Who have to listen to other professionals criticize a child or young person for a behaviour they can’t control and not become angry. Who then must rebuild that young person’s confidence. The ones who don’t shy away from the noises and the ticks. The shouting. The parents who blame them for their children’s needs. The SEN teams around the country in schools, hospitals, Specialists provisions…. who can’t give the children they work with the support they need due to lack of funding but do their god damn best anyway.
The doctor and nurses who operated on my daughter 2 weeks ago and saw beyond the behaviour, who respected her needs, who dimmed the lights…. who spoke to her for 45 minutes about snakes to calm her….who allowed me to stay so close to her whilst they performed the procedure…… these are my heroes.
The up and coming professionals who are seeing these failings and refuse to turn a blind eye, instead ask…” what can I do to stop this happening again”
The safeguarding professionals who lay in bed at 4 in the morning, heart racing thinking that they can’t keep doing this…. but do. The ones who allow a child to cry and scream and show no hate. The ones who don’t flinch when a 12-year-old girl talks about the physical injuries that accompany rape. The professionals who hug the children who smell bad…and then clean them up.
The safeguarding professionals who really care about the children they work with.
The head teacher who literally put his job on the line to ensure a CSE victim was no longer treated as “one of those girls” and asks “Is this good enough for my child”…
The mental health professionals who hold tea and talk so the professionals working with young people get theirs time to breath also.
The professional on the train who just stifled a sob because she has just realised that she is not failing everyone. That she can only throw so may starfish. …That crying for the lost ones is ok. Is normal. Is part of life….and she knows that he slipped and that’s how they got him and she could have done nothing to save him….
To my fellow professionals who don’t let kids down. Who don’t turn a blind eye. Who don’t avoid the gaze of the adult that you know hurt that child.
To the ones who cry….and get back up again
I want to say thank you.
I’m proud of you.