ANOTHER family have spoken of their struggle to get the help they need from Calderdale’s crisis-hit children’s social care services.
Driven to desperation by his violence, drug-taking and stealing, the mother and grandmother of a boy – who is only 13 – have been pleading with the authority to take him into care, but say they will not listen.
After years of trying to cope, they believe having him taken away is the only way of avoiding tragedy.
“He’s either going to seriously hurt himself or his mum,” said his grandmother.
Social services have been involved with the family, whose names have been omitted to protect the boy, since he was small.
At four, he was climbing out of windows and managing to get over a six foot-high fence.
At five, he was throwing stones at people’s houses.
Doctors prescribed medication but his family said the drug transformed his whole personality, leaving the boy quiet and withdrawn and they decided to stop giving it to him.
At school, the problems continued and when he was eight he was eventually sent to a pupil-referral unit, a service for children with emotional and behavioural problems who are unable to tend mainstream school.
The change seemed to help, say his family, and his behaviour improved for a while.
But at home, the situation went downhill. He was emotionally and physically abusive and running away again and the police would often be called to look for him.
At just nine, he was staying out all night and hanging round with youths as old as 16.
It was around this time that the boy was diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder – a potentially serious psychiatric disorder.
But despite attempts to help him, his behaviour problems have escalated.
He started high school last year but was missing lessons after just a month.
When he was 12, his mum found him smoking cannabis in the shed and he has been stealing to pay dealers.
Now the people he is hanging out with are in their early 20s.
And he has told his mum he has taken MCAT and cocaine.
The family say they have tried to do everything the children’s social care services have advised them to, but they can not cope any more.
His mother said: “He’s taken control of my home. He’s kicked me and punched me, even threatened me with a knife,
“I don’t know what to do. He’s out of control. We’ve asked them to take him into care but they’ve told us they don’t have the resources.
“I need help for him. Somewhere in there is a 12-year-old boy.”
The family are still in discussions with Calderdale Council, who declined to comment.