1/2 There was no end date, and for the first time, I felt secure

1/2 “When I was fourteen I was taken into care because of my behaviours, such as being in a negative peer group and running away from home. I lived in about five residential units in the first two years. All of these placements broke down as they were not able to manage my needs. I found it hard to fit into the local communities because I spent such little time in them before being moved on to the next placement. As a result of this, it was then decided that I would be moved to Boystown Campus in Nebraska. It’s a unique village for children who display challenging behaviours. It has everything; schools, hospitals, a police station, a sports hall, as well as a swimming pool, walking grounds, lakes and a farm. I struggled for the first eight months as I could no longer see my friends or family and they weren’t just a drive away from me. But after a while, I noticed my behaviours’ start to change, and slowly I learned to manage them. I put it all down to being able to stay in Boystown Campus, where I had stayed longer than anywhere else. The staff made it clear they weren’t going anywhere, that they wouldn’t be moving me on, and that I was there to stay until I improved. There was no end date, and for the first time, I felt secure in the fact that I would be allowed to stay here until I was fully ready to go. This new feeling and attitude helped me change things rapidly.”

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