bbc r4 this morning around 08:50 we hear of the predicament of foster children and how they suffer from multiple homes during childhood and how at age eighteen all professional support stops. I knew of this already, the reason being we are told that ‘insurance’ by which I think they mean professional liability insurance stops when the subject / service user reaches eighteen. Imagine, just at the point when perhaps need is greatest, the need to be mentored and help with the many transitions unfolding, finding a place to live, a job etc etc.
Why is it we are chok-a-blok with BS, that common sense seems in such short supply?
I too was homeless at eighteen, dad was dead six months and my dreadful so-called ‘mother’ couldn’t wait to get rid of me. After suffering the loss of my wife I can say that it takes a full three years to walk on upright again from such a shock to the system, a heavy blow to the head. Never mind, after eleven months in digs and a fortnight to get out, my wife to be fell from heaven and looked after me. Luckily I had an apprenticeship and my boss arranged / twisted an arm to get my dads lifetimes collections of tools and apparatus housed meanwhile. God indeed does look after us.
The reason I write this post is the bumptious middle class and blinkered twaddle from bbc r4 John Humphries for immediately responding to the contributing expert with something like “Oh well they’ll soon be off to University” !!!
I don’t think so !!! … for the ordinary child from ordinary often quite stressed and basic housing University is something from another kingdom, another world. They will never have met or spoken with anyone from University apart from perhaps a teacher. For many kids even a job, any job is near unattainable. Where the heck do these woolly over-comforted presenters come from? Oh I know … from comfortable middle-class homes that have that weird ingredient called ‘possibilities’. How so different from the vast majority of the ‘forgotten’.
We seem to be in a near euphoric over-estimation of both the value and the attainability of a University Education. Many courses are nonsense near garbage time-fillers. Yet how often does one hear or encounter anyone that has sufficient interest in a subject to pursue it in their own free time, of self-study and reading at home? This is extremely rare; but curiously so many are falling over themselves to be part of a Uni experience. Seems to me too many have fallen in love with the idea and have dispensed with a pragmatic reality.
It is said ‘we become our fathers’ and indeed in my case the extra two years fourteen to sixteen did me little good, the old apprentice idea at fourteen was not as bad as supposed. If it was an idea from Japan oh my goodness it would become soooo trendy. To be cloistered (or hindered) to sixteen plus with a gaggle of kids is not the best path to becoming an adult, or skilled.