I am sure I’m not alone in becoming increasingly distressed to learn of more and more cases of one human’s heartless attitude or behaviour to another.
Also in the news are the increasing number of children being excluded from school, and because there are insufficient qualified or trained peripatetic staff or accommodation to which the children can be taken, they are too often out on the street, wandering into trouble; perhaps in gangs that indulge in petty crimes which all too often lead to vandalism and the increasing number of knife crimes.
It is this increase in knife crimes that has the authorities currently concerned. One speaker admitted that it was possible to predict future prison inmates from these excluded youngsters. It is a pattern that has become more commonplace than anyone in either the Government or the Home Office cares to admit.
The sad and appalling facts speak for themselves; there are too few people, truly concerned with the welfare of these young people – and their families, and those currently doing so, are struggling to contain their mammoth caseloads with meagre resources and little hope that the future hold out much in the way of encouragement. The truth is that while poor families with problems are known to exist, too few want to be involved.
For those who truly care, endless battles with bureaucracy and a feeling of helplessness is demoralizing; especially when it comes at the end of a day spent trying to tease out the extremely delicate strands of subconscious torment that spiral, like tangled spaghetti, within the hearts and minds of youngsters caught up in subconscious psychological battles with adult authority.
Therapists may return home via a stressful drive in dense traffic before gulping a cup of tea, coffee – or what-have-you to chill out before spending another couple of hours writing up case notes while knowing that few of the children, their parents or carers, will benefit to such a degree that they eventually find happiness.
There are simply too many cases and too few qualified therapists for the increasing workload. Local authorities are struggling with decreasing budgets and increasing demands upon their meagre resources.
Perhaps there is much to be said for the decentralisation of so much government revenue, and like the Swiss, we might consider their concept that money collected from local taxation should be allocated locally by those who have experience and knowledge of what local communities want – and need.
Above all, we need to rethink the whole concept of families needing moral, financial and psychological support. So many families are fragmented and youngsters become ‘fair-game’ for exploitation; some becoming parents before they’ve had a chance to enjoy a childhood.
Political tinkering with education has not helped by cutting domestic skills completely from the curriculum of secondary schools so girls and boys no longer have the chance to learn basic household skills such as cooking, needlework, carpentry – general DIY skills that will serve them in the future – nor are they learning to appreciate the arts such as music and drama. All essential as part of the growth towards being mature, responsible members of any community.
Our politicians need to be aware that not all children are cut out for an academic life, whereas everyone will always need to have a basic knowledge of how to prepare food, and knowing what to do with a screwdriver, a garden spade and how to mend a fuse or sew on a button. etc. will certainly come in handy at sometime in the future.