Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I am writing this fast, as I have a ten minute window between getting the breakfasts out and loading the car for the school run.

The dreadful shooting of the two policewomen is all over the news, but because the journalists need something to "discuss", the tragedy has turned into a debate about whether the police should be armed; yeah right, like in America, where you're much safer...

Every time I have to look, with a shudder, at the face of the man they assume is the killer, I want them to tell me what happened to him as a child.

I have to say this next bit to avoid any flak, even though I would hope it's obvious: 

There is no excuse for violence of any kind, most especially the ultimate act of violence; murder. 

But sometimes there are reasons, which can be understood, and maybe acted on.

I will never forget at a Blue Sky training session, the lecturer pointed out that while the the boys who killed James Bulger were demonised, Baby P was universally mourned. His point seemed to be that had Baby P lived he would probably have become a big problem, maybe a menace to society. The public wouldn't be shocked and saddened by what happened to him as a child, only angered by what he did later, as a result.

I haven't put this as well as I'd like, being on the hoof, I hope you get my point about why we need to know what happened to the man who killed those poor women; not because we need to care about him; he's past that, but to improve our understanding, do our job of looking after children who may be on the edge, even better.


  1. Hi, I'm a foster carer and your post really made me think. My current placement - a very young baby - comes from a very similar (ie not good!) background to Dale Cregan and last night I looked at him whilst doing the 3am feed wondering how he will turn out in 29 years time.

    He's a bruiser already and I can easily picture him as an intimidating gang member, particularly if returned home.

    On the other hand I know plenty of tough looking teens who're actually the kindest boys you could wish to meet.

    I suppose all I can do is try and give him the best start possible and hope that some of the rules I impart while he's with me stay with him for life. Whether he goes home or moves on to adoption.

  2. Hi Anon

    Thanks for your post. It's great to get feedback, and a 3.00am feed, though lonely, is a good time for reflection. I guess you can take some confidence in his outcome from the fact that he's - hopefully - going to be clear of the kind of turmoil in his formative years that seem to play the biggest part in a child going seriously wrong. And you're right about plenty of tough looking teens having a heart of gold.
    Keep us posted on the blog about how things are going, not just for him, but for you too.

  3. You are so right, young lad in my care whose placement broke down, I dread in ten - fifteen or twenty years seeing his face on TV cos he has injured or God forbid killed.

    The team did their best, but the damage has been done and I dont think that with the best will in the world we can undo it.

    Unfortunately in this particular case the cycle of violence has not been broken

    However, other placements have done just that - so it is worth going on