Standard 1: understand the principles and values essential for working with children and young people a. Think of a particular situation when you were able to treat children, young people, their families and their carers with respect. b. Now think of another situation when you were able to treat children, young people, their families and their carers as equals
We had an occasion when a YP was asking me to take her to her grandparents’ house to collect some items that she had left there a couple of days previously. I’d heard that morning that this YP had been rude and abusive to her nan when she’d brought her home from that visit because the nan had said that she would not be able to come and collect her again the next day. The YP thought that her nan was just being lazy and couldn’t be bothered. What we, the staff, knew , and the YP didn’t, was that her nan had terminal cancer and was weak and tired with that and her treatment. So, when the YP requested to be taken to collect her items I refused to just take her, pick up the stuff and leave. I insisted that we arrange to go, stay for a drink and a chat because I thought it would be rude, disrespectful and hurtful to the grandparents to not stay. I also explained that I felt that she needed to mend ‘bridges’. She relied on the relationship quite a lot. After some discussion, the YP agreed that we’d go and chat. I then phoned the grandparents to arrange it and to discuss with them about telling the YP about nans illness. I explained that I felt that her not knowing was leading to this misunderstanding and to the YP drawing her own conclusions regarding the nans’ changes in behaviour. I also explained that I wasn’t trying to pressure them, just why I and some colleagues thought it would be a good idea and why we thought that the YP would deal better with knowing. I also offered any support they might want from myself or other staff team members should they choose to tell the YP. Should they choose not to, we would continue to respect their choice. We went to collect the items and stayed for a bit. After a bit of a frosty start and with some input from me, the YP and grandparents gradually relaxed and by the time we left were back on good terms. Soon after, at LH and with a staff member present, they told their granddaughter about the nans’ prognosis. Of course the YP was very upset at first but soon came to terms with the news and now has, again, a very good, close relationship with her grandparents. c. In both of these situations, how did it make you feel and how do you think the child, young person or family felt? The YP felt she benefitted from this whole episode in a number of ways. She’d spoken to her nan in anger and was feeling a bit proud and embarrassed but didn’t know how to back down. When I took her and we stayed and chatted it allowed her to re-establish her relationship. In being told of her nans condition she feels that she’s being respected and now understands why her grandparents have changed. She appreciates that we felt that she should be told and felt that she could deal well with the news. I know that the grandparents were relieved when I raised the subject of telling the YP. They had been thinking about it but were uncertain about what action they should take. They felt supported and respected both about the discussion and during and after telling the yp and I had. I think that, in ways, they feel that they are part of the ‘team’, included in their granddaughters care. I feel that the YP’s welfare was at the top of my consideration. I feel that her misunderstanding was leading to the undermining of her relationship with her family, even making her feel that they no longer cared. In a way she felt abandoned and isolated which affected her attitude both to herself and her surroundings. She was treated as an individual and her self-esteem and resilience were recognised and acted upon. d. Think about the service standards and codes of practice in your...
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