A conversation with a parent…………
One day I had the privilege to talk with a parent of a young person who had become involved with the Criminal Justice system. As a Case Manager, I had the responsibility of supervising this young person on a regular basis, and this young person was always accompanied by one parent. My meeting with the young person had ended but on this particular occasion I noticed that the parent was looking sad. So I asked if the parent would like to have a chat.
What transpired was a long, tearful and honest conversation of a life of this parent who was experiencing the stressors of a marriage breakdown, remaining in the family home with the estranged partner, and now having to cope with a child who was tethered in the arms of the youth justice system. My suggestion at that time was to be ‘self-caring’ – to take ‘time-out’ for themselves. I explained that this was not about being ‘selfish’, but being protective of yourself.
I remember feeling so hurt on their behalf that I set my mind to doing something about supporting not only the young people, but also the family/carers of young people who find themselves in this same position. So I would like to say to parents/caregivers that you are valued and deserving of being supported as well.