Half way through April a new, young student was allocated to the Foundation Skills 1 class. However after two weeks I had not seen him, he kept declining the class saying he was too worried to come down to the Programmes building. On the third week he was convinced to come on the Friday lesson when the class was in the computer suite. The next week was the same, he came just for the Friday lesson, however, in the couple of weeks that have followed this student has attended every lesson. I heard him talking to one of the other students during their coffee break where he told them it wasn’t anything like he thought it would be, he was comfortable with how the work was presented to him, he liked the feeling he was achieving something and not being told off, he didn’t feel like he was stupid like he did at school. The other student, a guy older by around 30 years, told him he loved coming down to Programmes, that he should stick with it and learn as much as he could so he could use it on the outside.
Client Support Work:
A young Mum Samantha was referred to the service by her lawyer. Samantha had a date for a Family Group Conference and she was scared her children would be removed from her care. This was causing Samantha great anxiety. She did have a social worker from another agency supporting her however Samantha felt her worker was not very helpful. She did not feel confident the feedback from this worker would be favourable at the Family Group Conference and that it would result in her children being removed. Samantha asked if I could support her at the Family Group Conference. After gathering information from Samantha and assessing her situation, it become clear Samantha had been engaging with the other agency for 3 years. During that time she had had a change of 3 workers – due to employment changes, and her current worker was fairly new. When asked if there have been any concerns around her parenting while working alongside the other workers Samantha stated there wasn’t to her knowledge. Samantha said she got on with the other workers and she found them to be supportive.
Samantha was encouraged to meet with the worker from the other organisation to talk about her fears and concerns in regards to the Family Group Conference and to address with the worker the lack of support she was feeling at this time. Samantha did not feel confident in doing this on her own. I asked Samantha if she would like me to support her in a home visit alongside her worker. Samantha was agreeable to this.
A joint home visit was made and Samantha – with support, was able to talk with her worker to let her know how she had been feeling. The worker was unaware of Samantha’s fears regarding the Family Group Conference and this allowed Samantha to talk about how she was feeling about it and of the support she was receiving from the worker. The worker was open to Samantha’s thoughts and hadn’t realised Samantha was feeling the way she was about their working relationship. This also allowed the worker to give Samantha feedback on the good things she has observed at their home visits.
Not long after the Family Group Conference a follow up home visit was made to Samantha. Samantha reported the Family Group Conference went ok. Her relationship with her worker is good and she now feels like she is getting the support she needs. Samantha since the meeting has been open to suggestions and supports that were offered at the Family Group Conference and now views these supports as being positive.
Client Support Work Little Citizens:
Connecting with Centre Whānau, I met with Liz, a parent of four children, who was also balancing full time study. Her partner worked long hours, and she was finding it difficult to achieve everything she needed to. She identified her need for service as support with parenting.
The support I provided was in terms of helping Liz to identify specific areas and goals which she wanted to be able to achieve (such as having the children ready for school on time). Liz came up with solutions which she felt would work for her.
Over the course of the service, Liz had put some of these strategies in place, and had devised her own to supplement these. She had been able to identify that further professional supports for aspects of the children’s behaviour might be needed, and arranged these. Liz had also made decisions which allowed her more adaptability in time management.
When the service concluded, Liz said that she now felt more able to handle the children’s behaviour and needs, and better equipped to support them moving forward.
Youth Transition House:
A small group has become really friendly and are now looking at signing a lease on a flat and moving in together. They have had great support from the Mission’s Client Support Worker and seeking budget advice in arranging leases, income support, seeking household items and transport. It is really heartening to see 3 school aged rangatahi being so proactive and achieving their goals.
Little Citizens Kiwi Room:
We are continuing our bicultural learning journey in the Kiwi Room through music – learning new waiata to sing at our family Matariki dinner in June. We are focussing on Tirama Tirama (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star), Kei Roto I te Moana, a great song about a taniwha! and Purerehua, the butterfly. These songs have actions too, engaging the children’s bodies and focus, and enhancing their verbal language.