Saturday, September 11, 2010

Promotions & Demotions

The epic snoring coming down the corridor from Phase 3 is unmistakably J. He has been elevated from Phase 2 after being at the house for over four months.

dirty feet on clean sheets, but who cares?

I should at this point (after having somewhat negligently omitted to previously) explain that the rescue house has four distinct phases which are central to its function. The phases represent more than mere sleeping accommodation. They are designed (and work, for the most part) as targets for the boys to aspire to and around which revolve various privileges.

The boys, when they come off the street, initially sleep in Phase 1 which is a rather austere space occupied by a quadruple bunk bed and toilet/shower area with bare concrete walls and hooks for clothes. The rawness of the accommodation is designed to make the boys feel more “at home” and forms a crucial first step in helping the kids acclimatise to the new environment. There is a mandatory two week stay in Phase 1. Although boys sometimes yo-yo between Phases 1 and 2 due to disciplinary issues (G was the last to make a habit of this, which became almost comic in its predictability), it is unusual for them to remain in Phase 1.

Phase 2 (shown below) forms a somewhat mediocre middle ground for most of the boys. A mandatory two month period can result in promotion to Phase 3 (as for J), demotion, or stagnation.

Phase 2 - somewhat crowded of late

Phase 3 is a more private space on the upper level of the house, with fitted wardrobes and ancillary perks such as the ability to earn money for performing jobs around the house. W was, sadly, demoted last month for various adolescent pranks which went a bit too far.

Phase 4, the highest phase, has its own bathroom and additional privileges (such as staying up late) and is for those who display leadership and responsibility over and above a child in Phase 3. Suffice to say, I've never seen any of the boys yet reach P4...but here's hoping!

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