Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Notes on looked after children

These kids have really bad life outcomes I guess. The suffering and trauma they suffer may haunt them their entire lives. Their life opportunities as a looked after child and afters are significantly less than the average.

A lot of them are good kids. They're just messed up. It isn't surprising. They've been messed up. Can you imagine what your life would be like if you'd been a looked after child instead of growing up with your neurotic family?

It is the objective of any decent society to promote the opportunity and life of these children and to help them do better. Part of this is the purview of mental healthcare but the sociol care aspect is also important. It is the bit which isn't working enough to reduce the disability when comes with the label of being a looked after child.

I'm applying the paradigm of mental illness to something which isn't a biomedical illness. However the paradigm of label and worse life outcourse applies. If I were a psychiatrist I would drug the shit out of those kids.

I'm not though. This is why I seek social model solutions to the disability, the worst life when it doesn't have to be this way, because I don't see mental illness as an illness. I see it as a product of a fucked up society.

Being a looked after child may mean worse opportunities in later life but it doesn't have to be this way. The children would need a lot of support early on in childhood while they're looked after by the state to ensure they do better in later life.

My life is one example. I am privileged with rich parents who value education more than anything else. They threw me out and I was briefly looked after by the state when I did my GCSE exams. Then I went to a posh boarding school after returning home.

It was an integrated mental health and social care treatment. They didn't call it that though. They called it school. A boarding school isn't about what you learn in the classroom though. Students from all around the world are thrown together and live together. The school I went to took on a lot of fucked kids like me. Most were from privileged backgrounds but not all of them.

I learned so much from my housemates. I also got an education in other ways. This helped my life course a lot.

Am I asking for looked after children to get an integrated mental health and social care programme which also integrates them into society? Fuck yeah.

Boarding school is a cost effective way to do it.

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We It comes in part from an appreciation that no one can truly sign their own work. Everything is many influences coming together to the one moment where a work exists. The other is a begrudging acceptance that my work was never my own. There is another consciousness or non-corporeal entity that helps and harms me in everything I do. I am not I because of this force or entity. I am "we"