One of our professional counsellors tells us about Alex:
“Alex (age 11) was referred to Fegans to try and address his angry behaviour in school. He had also been caught stealing food and teachers were concerned about him. During our counselling sessions it became clear that he was suffering from neglect at home and was physically starving. Alex would often miss multiple meals as there was simply no food in the house. His Mum would shop once a week and when it ran out, the family did not eat. This was obviously contributing to his behavioural issues and I made this my priority. I was able to work with the school to ensure they provided Alex with breakfast each day and referred Mum to a foodbank.
“We were also able to use our time together to talk about his other worries. He was relieved that his Mum’s drug addict boyfriend was no longer living with them as he physically abused him but now that he was gone he felt he needed to act as the ‘man of the house’ and needed to look after his Mum and his younger siblings. This is a lot of pressure for a child so young to deal with and this was clearly contributing to his anger. In one of our last sessions whilst playing a game together he told me “I like you because you fix things”. Alex is still a child. He needed a trusted adult to be there for him, to listen, reassure and encourage him. It was a privilege to work with him and see him begin to recognise his own strengths and abilities.”
*Name and photo changed for client confidentiality