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Watch Billy’s story: ‘Introducing Billy’

Watch the first part of Billy's story, the fictional scenario running through the course. This video introduces Billy and his mother Karen.
An increasing number of families are living in poverty and difficult circumstances across Scotland. Figures produced by the Child Poverty Action Group state that more than one in five of Scotland’s children are officially recognised as living in poverty. This has significant implications for a number of organisations charged with supporting and caring for the most vulnerable sections of our society.
Our story over the next six weeks will follow Billy, a 12-year-old boy living in the west of Scotland in a community hit hard by both the recent round of social services cuts, and before that, the industrial recession suffered by the United Kingdom during the 1980s. Billy lives with his mother Karen in a flat on a council estate. His estranged father, William, lives nearby, although he has little contact. Billy has no brothers and sisters. Billy and his mother have a difficult relationship. Karen works long hours in a local convenience store earning only the minimum wage. Her take-home pay doesn’t provide for much beyond basic living necessities.
The long hours that Karen is required to work means that Billy will often be left to get himself up in the morning and ready for school. Karen is frequently still at work when Billy returns from school, leaving him to prepare his own evening meal.
Karen has a history of depression and anxiety.
GP: Did the tablets that you had before help at all?
KAREN: They just made me really sleepy. I couldn’t do nothing.
GP: Yeah. She regularly has to visit her GP when her condition worsens and be prescribed medication. At its worst, this can leave Karen unable to attend work, and she’s already lost one job as a consequence of frequent absences. Billy finds this situation stressful. When Karen is feeling low, Billy worries about her constantly. When this is happening, he finds it difficult to concentrate at school, and would rather stay at home where he can be sure that she’s OK.

Here we are introduced to the fictional scenario running throughout ‘Caring for Vulnerable Children’.

Watch the first part of Billy’s story and meet Billy and his mother Karen.

The next step will be a discussion where you will be asked to share your thoughts on the story.

This article is from the free online

Caring for Vulnerable Children

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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