Placed children are often both targets of bullying and bullies, but there is little research data on the issue.
There are interviewees, whose story still troubles the mind after years. They include those taken into care the children and young people that I have met in my work.
For example, a 16-year-old has been remembered Salla, who had lived in six different child welfare institutions and escaped from them all. He dreamed of ordinary schooling and a pet chicken on which to build a perch in his own room.
Salla was even at the time of the interview on the run, but he had dreams, friends, and good distances to his mother. Pretty much hope, then.
Then he was in his twenties Niko, with behind a dozen different locations and the first criminal conviction ahead.
Yes, he remembered the insulation and stripping of the sites, which has been the case in recent years news item much, but considered other things worse. Despair and lack of encouragement. An adult’s often repeated predictions that he would become an addict and a criminal.
These young people have been in the thoughts recently about the shocking death of Koskela. Brutal violence does not leave you alone, because it involves so many very disturbing things.
Both the victim and the perpetrators were children, only 16 years old.
Sad signs were visible long before the homicide.
The boy who was the victim of the death had been bullied at school for years. He had been pushed and barked. Last fall, he had been the victim of such violent violence that he had left traces.
Former Schoolmates said in an HS interview that the boy was kind and quiet. According to one young man, he sat for hours with the hood on his head and head in the desk and said nothing.
This alone has been a strong message that not everything was fine, not at all.
With the parents’ permission, the police also told the public that the boy was a child welfare client and placed outside the home. This information was feared by many in the some: Why is this being told? Who benefits? Is an unnecessary stamp placed on the victim? Is the victim being blamed? Why not tell the backgrounds of the authors?
I think knowledge is essential and should shake us all.
The placed child has been taken from his family to the attention of society, so society – that is, we – must be able to provide special protection and care for such a child.
Domestic a child placed outside is fragile although it may look hard. He may have rejections, fear, violence, or loneliness, learning difficulties, or neuropsychiatric problems behind him, sometimes a confusing bundle of all of this.
Bullies smell fragility from afar.
This is reflected in the statistics. A task every couple of years School health survey reveals that placed children are much more likely to be bullied, both at school and in their free time.
Nearly half of those placed in the eighth and ninth grades (48.5 per cent) report experiencing discriminatory bullying, with around fifteen per cent being bullied at school every week, a fourth of whom have been victims of sexual violence in the year before the survey.
Invested youth also bully others more than others. One in three of them says they have been involved in bullying.
Wild figures. Much larger than young people living with their parents. It is therefore strange that the matter has not come up for public debate.
I called the investigators of bullying and asked what is known about the subject. It turned out not much. Apart from the school health survey, there is little other research data. Not in Finland or apparently abroad.
I called a few principals and asked if there was any talk of the topic in the school world. It turned out not to talk. For the principals, the information was new. Therefore, special attention has not been paid to placed young people in the prevention of bullying.
I called the child protection bosses. They were familiar with the subject but lacked resources. They hoped that a solution would be found in schools.
Schools, on the other hand, may not immediately receive information about a child’s placement. A hastily placed child can come to a new school for a month, then end up in a distant institution and another school, return again later.
This reflects the situation of placed children anyway. For many young people – especially those labeled as awkward – the placement changes frequently. There are a lot of child protection and upbringing professionals around them, but not necessarily one place or adult that would stay and be trusted.
The school path easily becomes broken due to changing locations. In addition, if you are bullied, the temptation to lynch increases. In some cases, school is completely dropped out.
We talked With Niko for a long time. He talked about his parents and the reasons for custody, compared the rules of the institutions and the habits of the employees, criticized some and praised others, suggested new ways to the institutions.
He spoke clearly and nuancedly, saw shades between black and white, criticized the implementation of custody but realized the reasons for it. He praised that child protection had saved his life even though he had not been able to guarantee a stable childhood. Your member’s causes and consequences, understood the boundaries of social worker fatigue and the system.
It quickly became clear that Niko is smart and analytical, able to study no matter how far. Would make it to college when I came.
Such an opportunity had just not come up with anyone. Instead, he awaited his first conviction for a violent crime.
The names of the young people have been changed.