Ahead of the course Caring for Vulnerable Children, Billy*, a 12-year-old boy in Scotland tells us about his typical day.
As the course Caring for Vulnerable Children gets started, Billy*, a 12-year-old boy in Scotland tells us about his typical day.
6:34am – I get up and get myself ready for school. The hot water’s gone off again.
7:00am – I have breakfast, stale cereal (there isn’t much else), Mum’s not been at work in the shop much because she’s not well.
7:15am – I take mum some tea, her pills are making her feel rubbish so she’s sleeping a lot. I’m trying not to worry but I can’t really help it ‘cos it’s just me and her.
7:30am – I lock the front door and get the bus to school. Hopefully Mum will be ok today.
8:30am – 12:30pm – Lessons. Finding it so difficult to concentrate – who cares about algebra?
12:30pm – Lunch. I usually eat by myself, I’ve not really got many friends because I’m not always here (Mum comes first). I want to go home to check on her, but Mr Merton, my guidance person, is always saying it’s really important I stay. He’s pretty nice so I’m trying.
3:30pm – Home time. I’m not sure I want to go back, I really want to see Mum but when she’s not doing good it’s hard. I don’t really want to hang around on the estate.
4:30pm – I go back to see Mum, she’s still sleeping so I’ll microwave some food for me. Steven, the youth worker, says he’s coming over. I’m not sure I want to hear him telling me about adventure trips again, I’m worried they’re going to try and make me leave Mum.
6:35pm – Steven has been over (and he brought sweets), says he’s not trying to make me leave Mum. I’m still not sure, and I don’t want a group of people feeling sorry for me, but kayaking and climbing does sound good. Definitely beats running around the estate.
9:20pm – Watching telly by myself, I usually do this with Mum but she doesn’t want to because she’s not feeling well. It’s not as good without her.
10:51pm – Run out of telly to watch, going to bed.
Although Billy might not be a real child, he could be. Thousands of children are currently facing poverty and hardship. Understanding how to help these children is vital – that’s why the University of Strathclyde is about to run the free online course Caring for Vulnerable Children. This course, featuring Billy and his ongoing story, covers the approaches involved in caring for vulnerable children.
*Billy is a character, he was created for the course and represents what a vulnerable child might look like in Scotland today.