The thoughtful reaction by Local Fostering Sussex to a post on our Facebook page has prompted this latest blog post.
Coming up in my book, to be published when I can make time to get on with the manuscript, will be a depth of analysis that studies the question, and answers, of a modern-day taboo subject:
‘Are the outcomes of child abuse and trauma always, and only ever, negative?’
My personal experience is that it is not. However, the ‘positives’, if they can be grasped at all by so few of us to survive such abuse, are far, far, outweighed by the negatives and I also side firmly with the straightforward human morality that we can never render defensible child abuse no matter what the eventual outcome.
However, my book is not going to be a story of triumph over adversity; but rather an exploration of such difficult questions, such as:
▪️ What exactly caused my stepmother to get up in the morning, thinking about how she could harm her child that day?
▪️ Why did my grandmother do nothing at all when I was abused by my grandfather in her full view?
▪️ Why have I been shunned by my entire birth family, except for my sister, for over 20 years?
▪️ What created the neurological conditions in the minds of my father and stepmother, when they tied me to a chair, aged 8, and beat me with kitchen implements as they hysterically laughed and I begged in fear to be released, believing in that moment I was going to be murdered?
▪️ What, exactly, is taking place inside the brain of an adult in the moment that they attempt to burn a defenceless child’s hand on a glowing-hot cooker ring as ‘punishment’ for taking food to eat out of the fridge?
▪️ Why would an adult pick up a full potty, and tip the urine inside it all over her young step-child’s head, after first stripping her naked and then stand, and simply watch her sob in fear and humiliation?
Many other such questions will be examined in depth and my torchlight will shine into every part and every area of our shameful history, uncovering everything that no adult survivor of childhood abuse believes will ever be convincingly accounted for by Government enquiries, having now failed time after time.
Speaking for myself, they might as well not bother. I have no care for a crafted, sanitised report. It would just be a grand final insult to us all. Even now, in modern times, what is it that perpetuates the cover up and shameful failure to act upon disclosures of historical abuse inflicted by qualified social workers?
Such realities as I have experienced show me that if abuse travels through generations of families, then so it does through generations of workforces; the very sort that are tasked with the removal of children from abusive situations – but in those cases, with what possible moral rectitude?
For care-experienced adults like myself, and the many others I know personally, so far as local authority and Government ‘enquiries’ are concerned, all credibility is now lost.
It is no wonder, then, that many of us feel that meaningful action can only be achieved through our own hands—the mere expression of which caused the local authority that was once my corporate parent to take such action that had my home recently invaded by police.
And then I was forced to explain the nuance between ‘thinking about taking vengeance against my childhood abusers’ and ‘making an actual threat to kill’. A subtlety that would have been plain to the Met Police had they been given the whole email I had sent to the particular local authority, rather than extracts of it.
If there is a job left to be done in my life, in addition to working towards full national care placement sufficiency, it is to fearlessly, doggedly, and forensically seek the truth so that I can produce an authentic examination that does some justice to thousands like myself who have been unforgivably let down by local authorities, the police, and the government.
I wasn’t saved in order to lead a life of obscure mundanity, that much I know is true. Why I have been given what most others consider to be reckless fearlessness, and ‘unboundaried’ openness, I do not know, but what I do know is the sticky, tar-like shame of my childhood doesn’t belong to me—it belongs to my abusers, and to those who have closed me out of their lives for having attempted to speak up in my early twenties.
More will follow, but for now, I have work to do.
Sean Parry is a time-served, multi-award winning recruitment marketer. He has worked among all sectors, private and commercial, public, health, police, fire and rescue, third sector, and local authorities. Over 20 years, Sean’s affinity with the cause of looked-after children and young people drew him to work ever more closely with children’s services.
Initially this included large scale social work recruitment exercises, later leading towards fostering and adoption attraction and recruitment marketing strategies. Full details of his career, and the core carer recruitment support service that Sean now provides on a retained consultancy basis to fostering agencies can be found on his LinkedIn page.
If your fostering agency is looking for specialist support to recruit new foster carers, please get in touch on 07977 712712 or by email for an exploratory, no-obligation discussion. This will be followed up with a summary of your support needs, along with full details of how he can help, anticipated outcomes, and hourly rates. Testimonials of Sean’s work from former fostering agency clients are also published on this website.
Don’t forget to join us at Do Fostering on Facebook, now the country’s most popular fostering page, achieved in just two and a half years by Sean alone with an exceptionally limited budget—testament that effective, results-producing marketing had less to do with budget and more to do with developing a plan that works… and sticking to it!