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Oh blimey I just had a major panic...

(26 Posts)
edam Thu 17-Jul-08 14:09:03

Walked by the front door and found a note from my neighbour's little girl had appeared on the door mat. on the door mat. Printed A4 sheet folded into a card: 'Will YOU be my helping hand? I have learnt that if I am not feeling safe, I can tell someone' and going on about 'will you please LISTEN to me, BELIEVE me, HELP me to feel safe again'. Little girl had written her name and our names on it.

eek eek eek eek eek was worrying she was being abused or something. Called the number (family support centre) and apparently it's some scheme they run either for families they are working with or in schools to let children know it's OK to talk about their feelings and to identify some grown ups they can talk to if they are feeling a bit wobbly.

Apparently her mother will know about it and it's fine to talk to the little girl in front of her mum and say 'thank you for asking me to be a helping hand, of course I will'.

Blimey. Have suggested they may want to re-think the way these things are handed out!

(And what if she really is in some sort of major trouble and wants to use this as a way of reaching out? eek eek eek again...)

positiveparentscouk Thu 17-Jul-08 14:10:42

bizarre i have never heard of that. WOuld have had a panic too.

litterbug Thu 17-Jul-08 14:11:07

Frigging hell.

That would have scared the shit out of me!

Some one less level headed could have stormed round there rather then dialing the number!

KatieScarlett2833 Thu 17-Jul-08 14:13:56

Don't you feel honoured that she has picked your family? She clearly sees you as someone she can talk too. You must be a fab mum.

Twiglett Thu 17-Jul-08 14:14:37

that is a fcuking awful marketing scheme that seriously needs a rethink. It sounds rather dangerous to me, god send it on to social services / childline and ask their input.

Somebody needs some safeguarding training

I'm shocked .. truly shocked

edam Thu 17-Jul-08 14:14:45

Well quite! And I don't really know her that well - she plays with my ds sometimes and I chat to her mum briefly but that's it. Am now worrying that although the scheme is quite broad, a child who was in real trouble might find this the way to start talking about it... OMG what would I do?

litterbug Thu 17-Jul-08 14:15:40

Katie Im sure she does feel very honoured, but its quite a scary letter to recieve.

She probably thought it meant the child was in immediate danger rather than asking her to be a 'helping hand'!

constancereader Thu 17-Jul-08 14:15:57

Christ, that would have freaked me out too. Agree they should re-think this.

It is nice that she picked you though.

Aimsmum Thu 17-Jul-08 14:16:21

Message withdrawn

edam Thu 17-Jul-08 14:16:41

I did make those points to the manager at the family support centre...

Thank you Katie, but I suspect it's just that they don't know many people as they moved in not long ago. And I sympathise with her when ds and her little sister don't want to play her games in a "I was a big sister too, little ones are a right pain in the bum sometimes" way.

KatieScarlett2833 Thu 17-Jul-08 14:17:40

You sound lovely.

edam Thu 17-Jul-08 14:17:59

Exactly, litterbug, I thought 'Christ, is she being abused or something?!' (apols to any serious Christians)

Twiglett Thu 17-Jul-08 14:18:41

but if the concept behind it is that you approach someone you may not know very well like a neighbour.. surely they should be asking children to approach teachers or dinner-ladies or anyone in the school / nursery environment or a policeman / woman or call childline

they should not be promoting that a child speaks to a neighbour .. how can a child know whether the person they like is mentally sound and capable of listening without judging or asking probing questions

And if the parent knows about the scheme and the parent is the problem what's the point

It's really badly thought out and IMO could put children who are worried in more danger

edam Thu 17-Jul-08 14:21:36

Yes Twig, I really don't understand what they think they are doing. If a child was being abused by a parent/close relative, and the parent knew about the scheme, they wouldn't be able to ask for help, would they? <<confused>>

And they have no idea who I am and whether I'm a suitable person to befriend a little girl and be trusted to judge all sorts of things... for all they know, I could be a monster. And the little girl is eight, how on earth could she judge whether I was REALLY safe or not?

litterbug Thu 17-Jul-08 14:43:34

It all seems very odd to me. I don't think I would allow my children to be part of it!

edam Thu 17-Jul-08 14:44:51

ds would probably choose the man who runs the sweetie shop, tbh.

edam Thu 17-Jul-08 17:20:42

bump just in case anyone happens to know about this scheme and can explain what on earth they were thinking...

itati Thu 17-Jul-08 17:21:55

My God! Where do they get these ideas from? shock

Twiglett Thu 17-Jul-08 21:37:49

the more I think about it, the more concerning it seems as a 'scheme'

lisad123 Thu 17-Jul-08 21:45:21

LOL, used these with our children.
Its a way of helping children identify "safe" people to talk to if needed. So could be neighbour, teacher, friend ect.
Her mum would know about it, and sometines children cant talk to mum or dad, and its good for them to know.
Its used as part of the Protective behaviours proggrame, which has kinda replaced stranger danger.

lisad123 Thu 17-Jul-08 21:50:30

its the children who choose the persons they put on their helping hands. Yes they might choose someone they dont know well, which is enlightening to the worker, but also if you look at the stats on abuse, the abuse is more likely someone they know or family, so sometimes better that way too.

edam Fri 18-Jul-08 09:30:33

Right, I saw the little girl and her mum this morning. Turns out she did this exercise with a family support worker who was actually there when she posted the note through our letter box. So the woman knew exactly what was happening! As did her mum!

The more I think about it, the crosser I get. Not just because it gave me a hell of a fright, but, as Twig says, because it could actually PUT children in danger. And cause a hell of a ruck. Bloody hell, if a child gave one of these letters to someone who was very anxious anyway, or had a hot temper, that person could go round to their house accusing their parents of all sorts of things or shouting the odds or whatever and cause a very distressing scene. Or call the school or something.

And it could be really horrible for anyone who had actually been abused themselves in the past.

edam Fri 18-Jul-08 09:31:50

I mean, it's the way it's worded AND the way it was just dropped through the letterbox with no explanation. I think stuff like this has to be handed over in person. With no idea what the context is, you could think the child is in immediate danger and calling for help.

lizinthesticks Fri 18-Jul-08 09:49:33

This is totally effed up. Creepy, frightening and not a little macabre.

2point4kids Fri 18-Jul-08 09:55:35

It would worry me too.
Very badly implemented

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