Baby Ethan* was placed in care at 3 days old.
Sadly, his parents couldn’t give him the loving support he needed to grow and thrive. This is Ethan’s heartbreaking story.
When Ethan was born, his parents couldn’t look after him due to their own mental health and substance abuse issues. By the age of five, Ethan had lived through so many confusing changes, living with different families. Because of the disruptions at a tender age, he was difficult to settle, found it hard to eat and would cry relentlessly. He found it hard to trust adults and did not understand why his life was so different to other children.
Can you imagine how rejected he must have felt?
We need to address trauma – one child at a time, one family at a time, one community at a time, starting now. Children like Ethan need us all to take action to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma.
We need more kind-hearted people, like you, to become care leaders by contributing funding to specialist therapeutic services for vulnerable children.
If we do nothing, how many children will fall through the cracks?
Ethan went to live with his grandmother but she couldn’t give him what he needed either.
Child Protection Services placed Ethan with his grandmother, Sarah*, she was delighted to make a home for her grandson. But she was getting older and found it hard to keep up with his needs and respond to his behaviour.
When our team received the referral, Ethan had just started school. By this stage, Ethan found friendships and relationships difficult to maintain. He often was upset. When friendships failed, he would blame himself.
Ethan assumed he didn’t deserve friends because he had been rejected too many times before.
His emotions started to have an impact on his physical body. Ethan often said he felt sick in the stomach all day. At school, he would act up, and nothing his teachers did seemed to help him.
No child should feel badly about themselves, carrying such shame and hopelessness.
Our therapeutic specialists were able to help Sarah, his teachers and the other people in his life to understand more about the ways that trauma had shaped Ethan’s brain.
Together, they started understanding Ethan’s behaviours as expressions of his trauma. Sarah learnt how to put in place predictable and nurturing routines and responses that helped build his self-esteem.
The school also adapted their approach to Ethan. He started to form friendships for the very first time. Ethan learned to express his feelings more and understand his own emotions. Our therapists helped him feel calmer within his body when he experienced big feelings. As his confidence grew, he became more relaxed and stable in class.
At last, Ethan had real friends.
Children will always be the priority focus of our work. But, there is more work to be done. We need to do more than just treat the child. We must provide trauma education to everyone in our communities who works with children. We need to secure funding to lobby government leaders to focus on stability and permanency for children like Ethan.
Until we achieve this, the world could seem like a very scary and unpredictable world for children like Ethan.
You can support children like Ethan.
We need to work with the people who form the circles of care around a child, and we need to help children as early as we can to give them the best chance at breaking through the cycle of trauma that comes from abuse and violence.
Here’s where you can help.
Can you donate today, and give children like Ethan the experience of positive relationships through which they can learn to trust again?
If children do not receive the specialist care they need to address their trauma, the world can seem very scary and unpredictable, making it harder for them to develop positively and fulfil their goals as adults, free from the pain that they carry with them through their lives.
Together, we can mend the lives of children like Ethan by teaching communities and families to heal the trauma that runs through generations.
You can make a lasting impact
By becoming a regular giver, you can help support children like Ethan* and his family beyond Christmas. An ongoing gift can help us reach more families who require the specialised care and treatment to help break the cycle of trauma.
Together we are achieving so much
A look at what we’ve done together
in the last 12 months
* Names have been changed to protect the identities of children. Thank you for your understanding and support. If you, or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 000 and ask for Police. For confidential support regarding family and domestic violence, please call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).