Through Parent Lens (#2)

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Imagine learning something so horrific about your child that it doesn't bear thinking about, let alone dealing with.

Imagine strangers outside the home & family having control over your child to the point that they are seen as family by your child & you the enemy, the problem.

Imagine being sleep-deprived night after night for months to a year because your child is reported missing daily or regularly, & you need to continue to go to work as normal & deal with the same repeat loop once you return home.

Imagine having to function at the highest levels of alert at your most exhausted, physically & mentally.

Imagine having to deal with your other children whilst the trauma of this madness breaks you every day.

Imagine nobody seeing what you see, the risks that are increasing, & the injuries being dismissed as nothing.

Imagine having to deal with the fact that the drugs internally secreted inside your child could burst at any minute & kill, or the fear that tonight will be the night he is fatally assaulted.

Imagine having to deal with your child’s drug debt yourself because you cannot go to the Police & violent gangs at your front door demanding money ‘or else’.

Imagine having to deal with safeguarders who only see a child who has made a lifestyle choice towards criminality, rather than a groomed, exploited at-risk child.

Imagine having to flag Child Trafficking & Modern Slavery legislation to First Responders who have never heard of it or tell you it is not applicable.

Imagine having to deal with the fact that your child is being sucked into radicalisation & those you report concerns to can't see what you see and deem it a conversion.

Imagine safeguarders trying to find fault with you because they don't understand County Lines or grooming.

Imagine nobody listening as you get louder & louder voicing your concerns & then being seen as a problem-parent for doing so.

Imagine the imminent stabbing of your child which safeguarders don’t see as credible, & then a call to say “stabbed multiple times, on a life support machine, location unknown” & then telling your other children.

Imagine having to deal with planning your child's funeral because nobody listened.

Imagine the trauma your child suffers from experiencing & witnessing ordeals most adults will never be exposed to, yet their mental state never gets a mention in any response.

Safeguarders need to look at County Lines’ exploited young people through a human lens before a professional one. If this was your child, how would you want to be responded to?