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How do we show we care ?



By, Stuart Macmanomy


This week I heard about how a hospital staff member raised a concern about a residential care worker giving a child a hug while they were in hospital receiving care for some injuries. What immediately shocked me was that this was a concern that came out from one of the UKs leading children’s hospital in this country.

I was then told that the person raising the concern did not feel that the hug was in any way sexual but that it was inappropriate. I could not get my head around this statement and it led me to look up the definition of inappropriate.

inappropriate - not suitable or proper in the circumstances

What is it about a child being given a reassuring hug while at hospital is not suitable or proper in the circumstances. I am inclined to assume that the hospital staff member felt that this was inappropriate because this was a male carer hugging a girl. I wonder if the same concern would be raised if this was a female carer? It may be unfair of me to assume this but as a male carer myself it is easy to make this leap based on my own experiences.

This whole "concern" is now on record and I can't help but think how this person now feels about this. Surely, he is now questioning his own practice, but should he be? If reassuring a child who is in distress by giving them a hug is a reportable act, then where do we go from here?

This whole episode made me think about Arcus Consultancy Ltd and what our reach needs to be in regard to training and educating people about residential care. We see this as an extension to our promise, to shout louder and further for those children in care and the adults that take care of them, so that this is not routinely repeated and is accepted.

To the adult involved I applaud you, and for the person raising the "concern” just because you see something as inappropriate it doesn't mean that you are right and I hope to see you soon for some training, I will be the one standing at the front.

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