Standard 2: understand your role in the children and young people’s workforce
Area of knowledge 1: your work role
a. Imagine you have to describe your work to someone you have just met – how would you explain what your job is all about
I work as a residential care worker in a care home for girls are aged 12 to 16 placed here by various social service departments because of their challenging behaviour. My job is to work as part of the staff team in providing a homely, caring and safe environment for the girls. Our aim, basically, is to help these girls towards living an independent and fulfilling future. We try to develop their life skills and relationships skills, improve their self-confidence and self respect, encourage them in their education and raise their expectations. We do this mainly through positive reinforcement, using financial rewards and activity rewards for positive behaviour and actions. We also challenge poor and negative behaviour and attitudes and try to encourage them to change these attitudes. We encourage the girls to get involved in local activities of organisations such as army cadets and youth clubs and several go for horse riding lessons. We keep thorough and extensive records of the girls lives, their activities and their achievements etc.
b. Now have a go at describing how your role fits into the work of the whole setting. My role is to contribute to providing a comfortable safe, healthy and nurturing home and environment. We are a team and try to work closely together following the same policies and procedures. I endeavour to lead by example and try to be positive role model. I try to be patient with the girls and respect them as individuals and encourage them to respect themselves. As a male in a mainly female environment I feel that I bring a different viewpoint and attitude to some things.
c. List the other organisations and professionals you will be, or are, working with and briefly explain their roles.
Social services: The girls are all under the care of their local social services and they are ultimately responsible for the girls. We try to work closely with the girls social workers particularly involving any decisions regarding the girls and about their involvement and contact with their families. Education staff: Willows has its own school and we work closely with the education staff exchanging information as we feel necessary to continuity of care ensure consistent and continuous care. Mental Health Professional: The girls, and staff too if needed, have access to a psychologist. He counsels the girls as they feel the need helping them to deal with any mental or emotional difficulties. He also provides staff with teaching sessions so that we can better understand some of the girls difficulties and behaviour.
There are times in our lives when we are all tempted to think, “I can do this work on my own!” Why is that NOT true? In this job is practically impossible to think you can do this alone. The girls need constant supervision and I am not there all the time! Even on a shift with four young people it would not be possible to provide a safe or healthy environment for the girls or myself. A partner is essential in ensuring that the girls are properly supervised and looked after. As partners we support each other with caring for the girls, making sure their needs are met, also in decision making and advising each other. Good communication between shift partners and other staff members is of vital to ensure continuity of care. Also drawing on our different backgrounds and experiences allows us to learn from each other. We also have both limited knowledge of the girls history and limited decision making ability for the girls so it is necessary to work closely with their social workers and sometimes family members.
Area of knowledge 2: legislation, policies and procedures
a. What are the important laws relating to children...
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