Address from Tara Fahy – Senior Practitioner
It’s hard to believe we are coming to the end of 2017 but what a year of achievements it has been. We have had some amazing successes and outcomes for our young people and families which brought with it sad farewells as they move forward in their journeys. A lot has happened in the care management space over the past month and we have seen the introduction of new faces, both in the management team and in our residential homes.
Last month I had the pleasure of attending the Annual Interagency Child Protection Symposium which provided a great deal of insight to the fantastic work that is being done behind the scenes in the sector at the moment. I was very pleased to hear that amendments to Queensland legislation concerning post care support to our young people leaving care has been raised from 21years to 25years of age. This provides a much-needed level of assistance to those who are experiencing the anxiety of their transition to independence based on their individual need, rather than their chronological age.
The symposium also afforded us the opportunity to hear from young people who have lived the out of home care experience and what their thoughts and views were. Their stories prompted me to think about how we ourselves view the needs of the young people we care for and the language we use in the sector as a whole, to see where improvements can be made. So often we speak about the behaviours displayed by the young people and how we can best support them in regulation, however, not often enough do we ask what that young person is communicating when they do this. During our team meetings we have now come back to giving more attention to viewing these, often extreme and high risk behaviours, as a response or reaction to something that has occurred for them. In doing so, we have had more success in the development and implementation of strategies best suited to that person. As always, we are outcomes focused and driven to achieve these for our young people in the best way possible.
An unfortunate issue we have seen on the rise of late, is the use of inhalants for chroming purposes amongst our young people in the South-west region, and in QLD as a whole. This is of great concern given the detrimental effects this substance misuse has on the brain and body. The damage caused can be quite extensive and sadly as seen in Townville recently with two young teens, it can be fatal. YCSS strive to educate our staff as best we can on what to look out for and how to best manage the situation should you have a young person engaging in this high-risk activity. To support our CF’s, we have developed training on the signs and effects of chroming, which details the ways in which young people may potentially gain access to items required and also how to best support our young people who are engaging. This will be delivered in team meetings and ensures that staff are up to date on the potential harm being done to our Young people.
As we prepare to enter 2018, we have much to look forward to. We will have more new faces to meet, new challenges to overcome and new successes to celebrate. Whatever the new year brings, we will continue to strive for positive outcomes and results for the young people and families we work alongside. WE take pride in our delivery of best practice and will continue to do so moving forward. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy new year.
Address from Renee Quill – Case Coordinator
Between Ruth, Tara, Cheval and myself, we have been merrily getting busy with organizing the Young Persons’ Christmas BBQ, Santa, presents and lots more.
I have organised for Australia’s strongest man to be present on the day to interact with the kids and talk about some of his personal experiences, if the kids are willing to listen.
Young person A has been doing great with anger control. Although we had a small outburst over last weekend, this young person was able to regulate himself and apologise without being prompted for his behavior. That’s a massive turn around for this young person as he would never have said that two months ago.
Three of the four young people that I personally look after have shown a keen interest in the possibility of returning back to school in 2018. Two of these young people have the enrollment forms already lodged with their selected schools.
I personally have been working with both of my wonderful teams, to collaborate on the activity planners for the upcoming school holiday’s and so far they are looking pretty full.