News from Child, Youth and Family - January 2013
Insights from young people via zumba, jewellery and korero
It’s hard to say who was having the most fun at Central region’s youth forums - the young people or Child, Youth and Family staff!
The forums were a chance for staff to take part in activities alongside the young people, while talking to them about what it’s like to be in the care of Child, Youth and Family.
The girl’s forum was kick-started with an energetic zumba class. An afternoon of jewellery making followed, with the girls working while they talked about their experiences of being in care.
“It is about what you have to say,” Emma Craigie, principal advisor to the chief social worker’s office explained to the girls. “Hearing how it is for you and things we can improve on is brilliant… it’s a chance to get your advice and thoughts and use them in our work.”
When asked how a social worker could best get to know them, one of the girls answered: “Listening to me. And don’t talk. And don’t annoy me by asking too many questions.”
Social workers turning up at school was not cool. The girls found it embarrassing and would rather meet somewhere like McDonalds.
Having their social worker get on well with their family was very important, as was their social worker doing what they said they would do.
The boys youth forum was part of a sports day at the North's Rugby Football Club. They were asked to imagine that they were a supervisor about to interview potential new social workers. What would they look for? “That they could talk to us.” And: “That they checked beforehand to see if we are ready to talk to them.”
Two of the boys spoke very highly of their social worker, saying that it was because he took the time to get to know them.
Tips for capturing the voices of children will be published on the Child, Youth and Family’s practice centre shortly. Look out for more information.