Family and Social Services Payments Essay

Submitted By 7339127128
Words: 332
Pages: 2

Carl Matt is an awkward, lumpy fifteen-year-old who just wants to be loved. Sarah, Carl and Harley’s fathers all walked out on the family and their mother, Kerry often finds them too hard to cope with. When his mother walks out on the family, apparently for good, nineteen-year-old Sarah, terrified of the responsibility of raising the two boys, heads to Europe, packing the boys off to stay with their Aunt Beryl in Wattle Beach.
Beryl is less than delighted at the idea of taking in the boys, until she realizes that she can keep their social services payments. However, far from filling the role of their mother, she shows the boys no love and even attempts to keep Harley chained to the house to prevent him stealing and misbehaving.

Carl is miserable in Wattle Beach. His size and awkwardness make him feel self-conscious and unable to make friends at school. Even the townspeople of Wattle Beach regard the boys with suspicion, believing all the Matt clan to be useless no-hopers. All Carl wants is a family and the security of knowing that he is loved.

When, at sixteen, Carl stops receiving any social security benefits, Beryl forces him to leave school. He finds work with Skip and Joy Duncan who run a rusty run-down barge from Wattle Bay to the nearby island. When Carl first starts to work for them the business is losing money, largely because of competition from a rival barge company. Before long however, Carl, reveling in finally belonging to something, shows initiative