Teenager being picked on in care home(5 Posts)
Posting on behalf of a friend, not sure if in correct section.
What is the best avenue to go down if a teenager is being bullied in their care home?
A teen I know of and am fairly close to is experiencing such things. She's 15.
She's had things thrown at her, had her nose broken, had all her allowance taken off her, her shoes, bag, 'phone etc.
She won't talk to her key worker because she's scared of the bullies finding out, and also doesn't trust her key worker so is reluctant to tell her anything. Doesn't get on with her style of talking to her if you will.
She is now putting herself in danger, by means of running away often, sometimes overnight. The police have had to go looking for her on several occasions.
I talk to the girl often-what should I advise her to do? If she can't talk to her key worker. Should she go to the police, or some other authority?
Hoping somebody else has more information than I do. Sorry if I have left any information out, will answer any questions if necessary.
Poor girl. Are there any workers in the home that she trusts? It doesn't need to be her key worker she speaks to about this. She may want to suggest a change in key worker to the care home manager though if she feels she cannot speak to her current one, it's an important relationship. It sounds as though it's been going on for a while and personally I'd find it difficult to believe staff haven't already picked up on the bullying. I would suggest that she speaks to any member of staff about it and ask that they talk to the bullies, but make it look as though they've put 2 and 2 together and got 4. Failing that you can give the staff a call (please get the girl's permission) and let them know - then you (or an anonymous caller) can take 'the blame' for staff finding out.
Can you give the girl support and offer to be there when she speaks to the staff? Could be a bit of an ask but could you offer a bed for a night every now and then to give her some respite? Or at times when they target her most, i.e. after school. You'd obviously have to work with the staff to get this approved but it could help her deal with it better and decrease the running away. If any of the bullies attend the same school they also need to know, the care home staff can 'be blamed' for telling them. Hope this gets sorted out for her, must be awful for her to live with.
Forgot to add - another option would be for her to request to be moved to another home, but she'd really need to give her reasons for this anyway.
I would say for any physical injury contact the police as it is assault. But I don't have much experience as to what would actually be done besides perhaps making the situation worse.
Can you file a report or make a call, that way the blame comes to "anonymous who noticed a child with bruises" rather than her?
Thanks for the replies.
I have offered to accompany her and help, but the care home staff aren't very co-operative to be honest.
I've also advised her to go to the police. I will see her again soon and will get an update. Recently they've burnt some of her clothes and stolen her phone. I know being seen to be telling on bullies can sometimes make it worse, so anonymous calls are a good idea. A lot of the bullies do attend the same school.
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