Carl’s Story

Carl was only seven years old when he, his younger brother and mum entered a refuge to escape his dad. When they arrived it was already night so none of the other children were around. Carl was anxious and frightened about being in a new place but he trusted his mum’s decision. Carl and his brother were taken into the playroom by the play worker whilst his mum did some work with the support worker. The child worker showed Carl the different toys in the room and showed him around. Soon after his mum had finished and they all went upstairs to their room.

Over the first week in refuge Carl remained withdrawn and quiet, he was anxious about speaking with anyone or talking about his feelings. Although he had met the other children in the refuge by this point he was still fearful about talking to the staff. One of the child workers engaged with Carl and encouraged him to participate in various activities including arts and crafts, games, cooking and trips. During these play sessions with the worker Carl become more and more trusting and eventually started to open up about how he was feeling, what he had seen and what he thought had happened. This allowed Carl to become more relaxed as he realised he wasn’t to blame for what had happened.

Through the support of the workers, both for him and his mum, Carl and his family became closer. His relationship with his mum improved and they were able to be honest and open with each other. Carl also saw his mum become more confident and he saw his brother make friends with the other children. Although he was anxious initially, Carl knew his mum had made the right decision to move into refuge. Now the family have their own property and Carl knows who to speak to if he needs help.