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I wasn't sure where to post this, there doesn't seem to be a forum specifically for the problem I have. I am a student studying early childhood studies at Roehampton University and I work part time. At present I am not working in the early years field, I work with a fifteen year old boy who has muscular dystrophy. I know that this may seem to be very irrelevent but I thought some of you might be able to point me in the right direction and give me some tips.


I work for an agency which pays my wages to work with this boy (I'll call him 'M'), I spend all day Saturday with him, take him out, make him lunch, help him to wash and put him to bed etc... I have spoken to others that have worked with him and have agreed that there is a form of abuse going on in his household. It is not physical or sexual, which makes it all the more difficult to pin point what is happening and how to go about helping the situation.


'M' has carers everyday of the week and four nights out of seven there is a night carer, his mum very rarely spends time feeding him, washing him or putting him to bed. I have never seen her kiss him, cuddle him, have a conversation with him (and I have been working there for nearly a year). The mother has a boyfriend of about four months, when they return from being out all day, 'M' automitically moves his wheelchair to go to his room, many times I have heard him say 'give them a rest', at which time I have to stop myself from saying 'a rest from what, being at the pub all day?'.


'M' is forever with his carers, he has a brother that gets invited round to have Sunday lunch with his grandma while 'M' stays at home with his carers. His mother doesn't even put his clothes away after they are washed, doesn't clean his room or change his bed sheets. I understand that the carers are there to look after him, but we are no substitute for his mother, little things like paying attention to his bedroom, making sure his clothes are put away nicely, giving him a cuddle or a kiss occassionally would make all the difference to him and to us.


I am not sure what any of you think of the situation but I believe it is worthy of notice from a social worker ('M' already has a social worker but she has failed to realise the problems). I know that it is now the carers' job to bring it to her attention. The only connection I have with her is through my agency, how do you think I should go about it? Write to them, go in in person? I don't want 'M' or his mother to know that I have spoken as I know it would upset 'M' and cause problems between me and his mother, as well as him and his mother.


I would be very grateful for your suggestions or opinions on the subject.




Abby xxx

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what a horrible situation you describe, for both 'M' and for you.


You need to raise your concerns with Social Services. Can you not get together with the other carers to do this? You indicate thta they have concerns too. Can you approach your agency for advice, tehy should support you as their employee, shouldn't they?


sorry no expertise here!



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This is a really difficult area-and one that everybody dreads. It must be very difficult for you.

But I agree with Susan, and again I am no expert here. You need to get in touch with social services. With others if they are willing, it would be less daunting that way and you would be able to back each other up.

You say that you are worried that it will cause trouble between M and his mother and you and her. But can things be any worse really? You may actually improve his way of life?? Sometimes we step back because we are too afraid to rock the boat. But perhaps it needs to be rocked-it sounds like it to me.


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