We follow closely the story of a young boy in care who wants nothing more than to be with his grandmother. As far as we are aware, the grandmother has no mental health or substance abuse issues and is perfectly fit to care for her grandson. The grandmother always kindly updates us with the latest news in relation to the contact she has with her grandson and the treatment he receives in care, by the social workers overseeing him.

But the updates are always marred by terrible events and deeply moving emotions. Theirs is a tale of entrenched spite suffered at the hands of jaded and unyielding social workers, which has spiralled out of control and prevented them from being together. It is a story about a boy who wants nothing more than to be with his grandmother and to escape a world where no-one seems to care for him, in an environment so cold, that even the toughest, most hardened skins would flinch.

Not a week goes by it seems, when we don’t receive an update in which this young boy tries to tell his social workers that he wants to be with his grandmother. He has tried to reason with them. He has asked for more contact. He has, on occasion, begged for a few more minutes with his grandmother (on his hands and knees, sobbing in front of passers-by) and he has, most recently, resorted to stones.

You might be forgiven for thinking that the stones were accessories to a crime, or a physical assault. We all have our thresholds. But you would be wrong. These stones (pictured below), were placed, one at a time, under each wheel of his grandmother’s car. To stop her from leaving him.

The grandmother tells me that these rocks represent the voice of a child, stifled by a system, sent out to throw stones.

This post is dedicated to this young boy and his grandmother, and to all the children in the care system who long for the love and affection they deserve. 

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