It is very difficult to heal a broken home. Sometimes it’s best as the minor to cease contact altogether from their household, and other times it’s best to give space until they feel ready to begin reconnecting with their guardian.
Only about 69% of children in the U.S live at home with their birth parents, therefore it is incredibly common to need a change in environment due to lack of safety. Unfortunately, most youth are not educated on how to leave an unhealthy home-life, or even what an unhealthy home-life is. Minors in the care of an irresponsible adult can be victims of mental and physical stress, and the best way to prevent escalation is to speak with a stable adult who is trustworthy and is well advised to handle these situations. If the environment is physically or verbally abusive you can follow the same instruction or go straight to Department of Child services and/or local police. Another resource that many are not aware of to use in situations like this are the staff at school. They’re always there to help.
A Franklin student who prefered to stay anonymous, unfortunately has become accustomed to living with a troublesome father who struggles with bipolar disorder and also alcoholism. After struggling with their father’s mistreatment for many years, they reached out to the Oregon Department of human services (DHS). Though no problems were solved because the student claimed only emotional abuse rather than physical. For support they confided in their close friends as well as their significant other. The student’s plan is to move out of their father’s house at the age of 17 this coming January and live with their significant other.
DHS prides themselves as being an Oregon human rights protective agency meant to ensure the wellbeing of all Oregonians. Cases like the anonymous Franklin student’s are overlooked simply because there hasn’t been any physical abuse yet. Physical abuse is always prioritized.
“It’s incredibly difficult for young teens to reach out to adults in times like this, especially when all they have known is for adults to ask like that and to treat them like that, ” explains youth counselor Lara with Morrison Child and Family Care Clinic. “When I was a child and I had a difficult time with my family, there was no one to talk to, or at least that’s what I thought.” Lara claims that it is very important for adults of any relationship with a child to check in about their stress to prevent and relieve any anxiety.
If you are experiencing emotional abuse you must contact a teacher, a friend’s parent, or your school guidance counselor/therapist. If you experiencing physical abuse you are can call 911. Thankfully, Portland Oregon is full of clinics which take health insurance if you are diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or any mental health issue to receive emotional support while going through these kind of stressful situations.
Franklin has two female therapists who are well experienced and certified to help students with any emotional support they may need. It is dire to their health and mental stability to stay in touch with adults around them, and communicate when there are threats. If the student lives in foster care or in the respite care and the adults in charge of their care are threatening or hurting them in anyway, they must reach out someone in person while they’re at school. Franklin can be the most useful tool to staying safe and healthy.