Bullied and baffled

Bullied and baffled

July 28, 2015

28 July, 2015

A mother contacted us in frustration because she couldn’t get help for her nine-year-old daughter, who had been severely bullied and injured at school, and was expressing thoughts of self-harm.

 

A mother contacted us in frustration because she couldn’t get help for her nine-year-old daughter, who had been severely bullied and injured at school, and was expressing thoughts of self-harm.

The woman tried multiple times to take her daughter to a hospital, which kept referring her to a local community service agency. The agency told her the case wasn’t urgent and put her daughter on a waiting list for counselling. Workers at the agency said they were understaffed and overwhelmed with referrals. Meanwhile, the daughter had to be schooled at home for a year.

Ombudsman staff raised the case with the program supervisor at the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, who immediately contacted the local service agency. The girl was provided urgent therapy and referred to a day treatment program for respite services. The hospital also apologized to the family. The mother told our Office she was baffled as to why no one could help her previously, and thanked the Ombudsman for getting things moving.