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Table 7 Trauma

From: The journey of aftercare for Australia’s First Nations families whose child had sustained a burn injury: a qualitative study

Trauma cumulative and/or unrecognised“See and then we’ve got to move around and do everything now, we’ve got to transfer and leave our home our family, he has to be close to [city hospital]. Yeah, I don’t want our family broken. It would be good to have just one person to help our family stay together. My kids are all over the place.”
“Couldn’t sleep over it all. Just seeing them on fire like a matchstick, still after a year can’t sleep ‘cause it’s very stressful. I cried a lot by myself.”
Effects of the trauma on other family members“My big sister Immya, she said, “No, this boy’s really broken, Natashaa.” I said, “Yeah, poor darling.” His mother had to take him into hospital and the clinic there where they stay in the community and get him some sort of help, try and help him with a bit of sleeping pills, or something, put him to sleep, because he used to get up and just cry for Andrewa and constantly trying to ring up and find out how Andrewa was and kept saying sorry over and over on the phone, and that was sad for me.”
"He [Andrew’sa brother] sometimes he gets angry and he goes, “Yous are blaming me, yous are blaming me for Andrewa.” Yeah but he just hides his things and he doesn’t talk about it or let it out … Yeah and he was missing me as well when I was gone. Like he wasn’t understanding properly why mum and Andrewa are gone for so long. Yeah and we tried telling him but we have to go because Andrewa needs you know, proper care and proper treatment … Yeah, and then he [brother] thought that we gave him away that’s what he’s, that’s the other thing he’s thinking and we tell him, “We never gave you away. We’re just waiting till we get this house and then you’re coming back to us.”
Trauma of child removal by child services and the unnecessary reporting to child services“There seems to be a lot of DoCS (Department of Community Services) calling on our kids. it’s like it was our fault and like they made us – made me, my partner he was there, we walked in the room with the DoCS and I just jumped up and I said, “What, I don’t care, you know, I’m sick of this, I’ve never done [swearing] nothing wrong myself.” Well, I just slammed the door and my partner said, “You shouldn’t have done that,” you know he was scared”
"They didn’t (treat us well) Up – while we were down there the DoCS worker come because nurses, apparently the DoCs lady told me that they Chinese whisper in the hospitals. So little Chinese whispers caused DoCS onto us. So that was sort of very upsetting for me at the time as well, thinking what the hell did we do? It was a 19 year old that done it. That had all got fixed up, as we came home we – the police chucked it out the window as the DoCS people said, and the DoCS knew, like it was an accident … But yeah, that – you didn’t feel really safe at all.
“The DoCS people … they were investigating Sam’sa burn … They [hospital] must have had a report or something that he’s burned, but they were investigating how it happened. I think they’ve closed the case now. They rang up and said they were going to close it, but I haven’t heard anything from them at all.”
“Dad was left home with our other kids and Derricka felt bad and he ran away and hid in the big bin and slept there, in the morning the big truck come to empty the bin and thank God he heard him screaming and pulled him out of the bin. Dad thought Derricka was at his grandmothers but the police called dad and told him to come to the police station and they said he had to sign Derricka over to care otherwise they would also take our baby too so dad had no choice but to sign him over to care. I was in the hospital 1000s miles away thinking my boy is going to die and dad calling me telling me about Derricka being taken away, I was broken, he is still in care but we will get him back when we get a place to live. It has affected us a lot because it has split us all up.”
  1. aNot the child’s real name