Sam* (age 16) was moved around a lot and ‘was a bit lost’ when his parents separated. He expressed his pent up feelings with angry outbursts and was suspended from school for fighting. This led to a long term problem with school non-attendance, and when he was given the option to move to another secondary school, he was keen to meet Jackson, a Youth Development Worker, on a regular basis “just to make sure I don’t kick someone’s head in again.”
Sam started attending a weekly youth group and boxing sessions, and though he is very boisterous he is learning to manage his communication and social skills, so he is easier to be around. It also came to light that he had a history of self-harm, and was smoking cannabis a lot. Sam’s goals are to get better at dealing with his emotions, learn to cope with disappointment and go to college. Of his continued support by youth development workers, he says “It’s good when people listen to you and don’t judge me as a bad person – they want to know all of me, the good and the bad.”
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Photos are used with permission and do not necessarily reflect neighbouring text. Names marked * have been changed.