Child & Young Persons Crisis Intervention Worker, CAHA
The work I complete with children and young people or mothers is client led, so it is dependent on what is affecting them at the time of support.
If the child is too young for support on a one-to-one basis, I would work with the mother to offer guidance and reassurance to her about rebuilding relationships, boundaries and routines. I give examples of good practice that work in situations that I have come across with other families. The main thing I try to encourage with mums when I work this way, is communication between themselves and the child or children.
One resource I offer mums is a book called ‘The Big Bag of Worries’, which opens up dialogue and communication and explores the worries they have, no matter how big or small or who they belong too. I have had a good positive response from utilising the book and the positive affect it has had on the situation. I also have worksheet resources that I will give to mums to use with younger children to open up and encourage communication between them.
For younger children who are able to engage on a one-to-one basis, I will use the STAR problem cards and worksheets – the cards encourage children to respond in a more positive manner because they are able to visually see what we are talking about. I have worksheets around the different problems, to work through them, which are sourced from research and material I have used in the past.
For older children and young people I will utilise the problem cards and the STAR young people work book, along with other resources. I also complete the Risk Identification Checklist for older children to assess risk and, as the assessment is very detailed, it gives a good rapport and insight to their history before the support begins, encouraging them to be open and honest, allowing the trust to begin straight away.
In refuge the current theme for our work with children is ‘Wishes & Worries’. The children are ‘making wishes’, writing them down (for example, onto coloured clouds, pieces of fruits, hot wheel cars) and sticking them down on their ‘Thought Tree’ and then writing down their worries (onto a rain drop) and putting them in the Worry Box (cloud ). This is proving to be a great success, resulting in disclosures, which is then resulting in staff being able to signpost to specialist external services.