Lee and Warren's story
Warren is a bright, active child who loves superheroes and jokes. But his early years could have ended quite differently
Seven-year-old Warren from Carmarthenshire is doted on by his dad Lee. But their beginnings together weren’t straightforward.
Warren's story began when Lee’s partner told him she was pregnant but the baby wasn’t his. They separated, but nine months later social services got in touch to ask Lee for a DNA test. They explained he may be the father of a baby in their care.
That baby was Warren. At 13 months old, he came to live with Lee.
As if becoming a single parent wasn’t enough of a challenge for Lee, Warren needed lots of medical care. When he was 12 weeks old, he’d suffered a shaking injury, and a shaking with impact injury. These had happened before Warren was taken into care.
"He’s had several operations to remove the pressure on his brain, which has now left him with two holes in the top of his head and big scars across his stomach," says Lee.
Action for Children came into the picture when Warren was a bit older. Lee felt that some of Warren’s behaviours weren’t quite right and sought help from us.
I credit Action for Children with giving me confidence in understanding his issues from his injuries and also that some of the stuff I did, I knew I was on the right path.
Action for Children worked one-to-one with Lee and Warren for four months. We gave the family well-rounded support, from help with sleeping routines to parenting courses. We even went on a trip to the zoo. Warren loved this, but Lee wouldn’t have been able to afford it on his own (he gave up his job as a carpenter to care for Warren). Lee now has the support of a play therapist.
It’s not easy being a father but if you can get the help it does make a big difference.
Lee adds: "I hope there are other people out there that can get the help that I had. It will really make a big difference in their life."
Warren and Lee have a very close and loving bond now: "He keeps me busy, keeps me on my toes, and I wouldn’t want to live without him now," says Lee.
That feeling is mutual. When we asked about his dad, Warren said: “My Daddy looks after me, gives me a cuddle, gives me kisses, makes me laugh. He's my best Dad in the whole wide world."