Personal experiences

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Case Studies: Pete Print E-mail

Pete (name has been changed) 

Pete came to the In Care Survivors Service looking for help to access his records of the time he was in care from the age of 9 to the age of 16; he had tried to locate them before but had been told they were lost.

Pete had been very badly abused by his step-father and unfortunately the Local Authority Home he was placed in during the 70’s was a home in which corporal punishment was routinely used as a means of discipline –Pete was often "clipped around the ear"– and on one occasion had a Brillo pad taken to his arm to remove a tattoo. For someone like Pete who was already much traumatised -receiving a clip around the ear was a potent reminder of previous abuse in his family home. Pete described living in a state of fear and feeling almost completely uncared for during his entire time in care.

ICSSS were able to work with the Local Authority who had an open access policy to records in place and together with the records officer and a senior social worker were able to locate the missing records. Then ICSSS worked with Pete supporting him through the anxieties of waiting to find out if his records could be found and then as he began the process of looking through them. In Pete’s case he saw letters from his deceased mother which he saw for the first time, reports from care workers which showed that he had been cared about and also painful reports regarding his original abandonment. It was a very emotional experience full of conflicting feelings however Pete said "I feel like my mind is calmer than it has been for months, like a heavy peaceful calm has settled on me".

Pete has since left the area to pursue his plans to move on with his life.