I could really use everyone's help! I was a passionate CYW who was diagnosed with GBM (brain cancer) 4 years ago. I'm doing great! Doctors tell me not to work, as stress can increase a recurrence, plus I have some cognitive difficulties (more so when I'm tired, evenings).
ANYHOW, my heart is still in this and I try
to be involved any way I can. I see some of my older clients from time
to time, and they like to chat and share what's been going on in their
lives. Plus I have a few from years back online, who I like to encourage
from time-to-time when I see then post that they are struggling with
something. I've been asked by a young women to be a respite contact for
her 8 year-old daughter. I know the woman and I've met her daughter, and
I agreed to do this. It's a casual thing, and I'm quite excited to do
some real work.
The reason I reached out, is that although
my heart is in this and I feel confident I can do a good 'job' with
her...I am being asked to provide a list of ways that I can assist her,
and what sort of things I will do with her to help her. I feel like it's
so natural to me but I have a hard time being specific about how I could
help her and the terminology needed to sound professional. Life skills
have always been my 'forte', along with helping youth figure out how to
create options for themselves and how to feel confident about
themselves. I have always been a very positive person, including through
my own illness.
I guess I just need a 'refresher' of terms to explain my plan for helping her. I think I was always a bit of a perfectionist with spelling and words, however my operation affected this somewhat. I want to help her work on her reactions to situations and increase her confidence. Any help on how to express these ideas using better 'terms' or can offer any other ideas would be SO helpful. The schools are not prepared to deal with her, only because they don't have the right people to do it (or enough people) and they keep her home half of the day, every day, so her mother is not able to work a day-job and has also explained to me that she doesn't feel confident teaching her daughter (which they tell her to do) when she did not even graduate high-school. Crazy. I feel there is a way to help her fight this, and I do plan to reach out to my past coworkers for assistance also.
Many thanks for reading...a bit of a mish-mash but hopefully someone will reply!!!
You’ve expressed yourself very well and your caring is clear. They are lucky to have you.
It sounds as if you would be providing her with our Child and Youth Care specialties, which are:
• Connecting with an adult-wary kid
• Being in the moment and working within her life-space
• Use models like the circle of courage to determine and meet the needs of the young person
• Using relationship technology to help the child to attach / have healthy relationship with others
• Assist with behaviour management strategies and activity programming (around life skills)
• And as one of our pioneers Urie von Bronfenbrenner said: “Every child needs at least one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her”, and you would have the time to be this for a child that may at times be hard to love.
These were some thoughts that came to mind. May the encounter be blessed and a catalyst for the young person to become comfortable in her own skin.
This is my first time trying to contribute to a discussion so I hope I'm doing it correctly!
Anyway, I think that you already have the terminology. You just used it! 'Life skills' and '...help her work on her reactions to situations and increase her confidence' are perfect. Also, I would say that if this plan is for the mother I maybe wouldn't use too much CYW jargon anyway, unless she specifically requested that. Personally it's just my philosophy to keep things simple. If she has already asked you to do this my guess is that she's confident in your skills and just wants to know what you'd do. You don't really need to 'sell' yourself any more, just explain the plan like you would to someone who didn't know all the fancy terms. Obviously this is just my opinion and I don't have all the information so I may be way off track but I hope it helps!
Also, a small note from my personal experience: trust your skills. They're still there, even if they haven't been used in a while. I've been out of frontline work for a while now and was starting to worry that I'd forget things, but as I've encountered certain situations recently I realised that all my skills are still there and come back when I need them. Like you said, your heart is still in this so I think once you get back to things in this situation you'll regain confidence in your skills!
Work from a strengths based perspective
Focus on improving Social Skills (lets face it, not making a full day of school is directly related to inappropriate social skills)
Wonderful work you are planning. Listening to what you are saying I hear something like the following statement. I hope it helps add some clarity and sparks some more ideas! You know what you have to offer. Best of luck in your work with this young person!
“This young person is missing out on daily, developmental opportunities to experience success due the current situation. The assigned school has proven unprepared to support these needs and the parents are missing opportunities to support the family due to the demands of providing care and supervision. My child and youth care work can (1) provide respite care for primary caregiver, (2) support development of self-confidence and practical life skills, and (3) identify practical options and positive choices for daily living.”