Imagine being a single father to a 12-year-old son. Now imagine being a single father to a 12-year-old son with an intellectual disability. Fathers are challenged everyday to be the best role models possible, but as Richard* has encountered with Seth*, some days are harder than others.
After leaving Seth with a caretaker, Seth’s father reported that he saw bruises and changes in his behavior. Concerned that Seth was being physically abused, Richard alerted the Child Abuse Hotline which triggered an investigation bringing Seth to the Children’s Advocacy Alliance to be interviewed. When they arrived, Seth was unable to really comprehend what was happening at the time, however the welcoming environment of the Children’s Advocacy Alliance helped ease Seth’s anxiety.
While Seth and his father were in the waiting room with the CAA Family Advocate, it was very apparent the calming impact Richard had on Seth. While the paperwork was completed Richard kept reassuring Seth that everything would be fine. When it came time for Seth to go with the forensic interviewer he was frightened and did not want to leave. Seth turned to his father and simply said, “I’m scared. Hold me.” Richard, despite Seth’s large frame, reached out and did the best he could to embrace his son. With the comfort and empowerment from his father’s loving arms, Seth was able to leave with the interviewer. Richard and Seth worked together with the Children’s Advocacy Alliance team to ensure Seth’s health and safety.
Seth’s father has been a constant in his life and was not going to step down and be intimidated by the investigation. Richard has been proactive and has not afraid to come to the Children’s Advocacy Alliance to ask questions. He simply wants to provide the best care possible for his son. No disability is going to stop Richard from looking out for his son. It will be a rough road for the pair, but Richard knows they will get through it together.