Keeping Siblings Together
Can you picture three children sitting in our intake room? They’re dishevelled, frightened… And each of them shows the signs of trauma we see every day at Berry Street.
The eldest is Jenny. She’s twelve years old and is clearly intelligent. Yet she can’t make eye contact and seems to have no self-confidence.
Then there’s John. He’s ten years old and has an intellectual disability. He’s not able to speak, and struggles to understand what’s happened in his difficult, young life.
The youngest is Annie. She also has an intellectual disability, and is so vigilant and anxious she can’t sit still – it’s a classic fight-or-flight response and is painful to see in a three-year-old.
When we meet children like Jenny, John and Annie, we know what they need most of all is to feel safe. This is what makes your generosity and compassion so important in supporting our vital work. With your support, we were able to find, train and support carers to look after these children and keep them together. This is so important in terms of providing stability, connection, and helping children recover from the trauma they have experienced. And in this case, we are also working closely with a local disability organisation to make sure John and Annie’s special needs are taken care of.
A year later, the three children are doing well! They’re still together, and they’ve developed lovely trusting relationships with their foster carer and our dedicated staff. Jenny has started high school, and she’s playing netball every Saturday (with her carers there as a cheer squad!). Her confidence has grown so much, and her smile is a big as ever. John is learning to communicate, and really enjoys his outings to the wildlife park. His spark has returned – so much that he’s known for being able to demolish a bowl of chicken nuggets! Little Annie is still our pocket rocket. She’s strong and independent for her age. And with a lot of love, she’s settling into a special school with her brother.
Best of all, mum has remained connected to the children and has started coming to netball too. We’re working with the family to rebuild healthy relationships, and stop the cycle of abandonment and despair.
Thank you for your vital part in making children feel safe through your giving at Good Company.