Jonas was just days away from being sold into a paedophile ring.
He witnessed his mother’s brutal exploitation, acted as carer to her and his younger brother, but is now transitioning into a British High School with a new hope.
Children, like Jonas, are not financially supported by the Government’s provision in the same way their parents are. Waiting lists for therapy such as counselling is months long, and there is no provision at all for staff to work with children to assess their emotional needs and support with the family unit as a whole.
Their stories vary a lot, as some children come to us without any spoken English, others have difficult relationships with their parents due to being separated from them for lengths of time. Many have witnessed horrific crimes against their mothers and fathers and many have been part of unthinkable abuse.
Through the generous support of donors, we have been able to grow the Family Support team and expand the number of children that we can support. The team draw up individual plans of support for each child who are referred to the team, according to their needs and goals. As well as running family Drop-In’s, trips and school holiday activities, the Family Support team run one-to-one family unit or child sessions. These vary from behaviour charts, food taster sessions, emotional support, speech and English support, referring to local children’s groups, specialized children counselling and respite from family care.
Jonas, now 12 years old, lives with his mum and three year old brother. His mother suffered brutally when trafficked, and he experienced the most degrading and inhumane treatment too. When the two were rescued we discovered that Jonas was days away from being sold into a pedophile ring.
Since coming to City Hearts with his pregnant mum, and after his brother was born, Jonas has been a huge support and carer for his mum as she works through her trauma, and is helping to raise his little brother. He is the man of the house. All of this whilst being their translator and working through the normal struggles of a young boy transitioning to a British high school. The Family Support team have been involved with their family for a long time, but through your funding have been able to offer extra valuable support as they received the difficult news that Jonas was struggling and being bullied at school.
The Family Support worker became a key role of support for him, acting as mediator in the school bullying situation, and helped him build his confidence through anti-bullying role play, referring him to community young Carers groups, helping him to access specialized child counselling, a new sport club and respite activities. The activities have proved to be a huge support to him. During some of the most difficult weeks, when he was feeling particularly low – a couple of hours a week to just be a child, to relax, unwind and have fun really helped him to cope.
This is just one story, of one family.