September 11, 2009

Bosco Homes

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:41 pm by sacetalks

 

Once again our government and society has disappointed me with the closure of eight Bosco Group Homes.  This post is in response to this article. 
Bosco to close eight group homes

 These closures mean that more then 80 children and youth are left to find other group homes and treatment facilities, which are hard to find since there are very few with available rooms. Yes, the murder of two people was terrible.  However, the two youth who were charged are “those” kind of kids, the “bad” kids that no one wants to deal with. Now, the one organization that does want to help these kids gets shut down because of one incident and because of a few concerned residents in the area that are uninformed about the whole thing. Bosco Homes took kids that no other agency would be willing to take, so please tell me where these kids will end up now?

 Not only does the whole thing about the group homes being shut down really disturb me but it’s the fact that these kids are being so harshly labeled. Doesn’t anyone ever stop to wonder how these kids that are in intensive treatment facilities or group homes end up there? I can tell you from personal experience of working in an intensive treatment facility that it’s not because the kids are bad kids.  It’s because they have been dealt a unfair hand in life. They have experienced things that we wouldn’t want our worst enemies to experience. For example, many of these children and youth have experienced sexual, physical, emotional abuse and neglect, to name a few. These are kids that have not had the advantage of a loving home life or the proper supports in their life. Many of these kids have been told throughout their lives that they are bad would never amount to anything good.  Now, once again, they are being told this not only by one or two people, but by our society.

 The residents in and around Ardrossan who have supported the closures may think that problem is now solved because they don’t have to deal with “those kind” of kids anymore.  Well, I have news for you: the problem doesn’t go away because it’s not in your backyard anymore. For example, if a child is severely sexually and emotionally abused and ends up in Bosco Homes because behavioral issues that stem from the abuse, those issues don’t magically go away by placing the kid in another community or group home. The only way for those issues to be resolved is by specialized support and care which Bosco Homes was supplying. These kids need more support and care than any average kid in and Bosco Homes was providing that for them.  Now, that support and care has been ripped away from youth who need it and once again, they are stigmatized.

 The stigmatization of these youth is very damaging to them and their self esteem. If a child is told over and over again that they are a bad kid and that they are not wanted in any community, that child is going to start to live up to the stereotype that society puts on them. They will think, “society and everyone around me, even people who don’t know me, thinks this about me. I might as well live up to that expectation.”  Labeling youth in care, not only in Bosco but other agencies, is not helping them to be better people.  In actuality, this stigmatization contributes to low self-esteem, which perpetuates offending behaviours.  Instead of stereotyping these youth, lets come together and show them that they aren’t bad people and that they can find support and understanding in their community to help them become great citizens.

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