Being positive, present and open
The pandemic has turned children’s lives upside down. Through counselling and being a constant presence in a young person’s life, our practitioners restore the hope of those who need it most. Here they tell us how important it is to be positive, present and open to talking with young people.
Amanda, Support Worker at Hand in Hand
Mandy goes from school to school talking to children at risk of exploitation and going missing. The majority she sees are 13-15 years old.
She teaches them how to spot signs of exploitation, what grooming means and ways to stay safe online. She also talks them through family planning and how to set goals for the future. When asked how parents can support children, she says it's all about building trust.
‘It’s just simple, basic things - sit and listen to your children. That’s all there is to it. I see so often that children think their parents don’t have time to them.'
The more they trust their parents, the more they’ll tell them.
Being transparent with children
Charlotte Driscol, Support Worker at EYPDAS
Charlotte works with young people who want to reduce or stop using drugs or alcohol. They’re mostly under 18 and from all walks of life. She gives them space to talk and helps them open up about some of the most difficult things they can face. Her advice to parents is ‘be mindful of pressure'.
'There’s so much internalised pressure that young people put on themselves, they don’t need added pressure. They’ve got the pressures of school, society, changes in life due to Covid etc. If they also feel added pressures at home, it can get too much.'
Parents should be honest and open about how they are feeling, encouraging young people to be open. This is as much a new experience for young people as it is for us.'
It’s good for parents to be transparent when things are difficult.
Laura Reed, Support Worker at Inside Out
Laura supports young people aged 13-18 who are in care. She helps them work toward being reunited with their families or go on to live independently. She will often spend over 25 hours a week with a young person to make sure they have the attention they need. Her advice to parent is to ‘be positive’.
Being positive around your children and other adults in front of them is important.
'Spend time with your children and have fun – do activities which are not in front of a phone or games console. It’s difficult at the moment because there aren’t many places you can go, but having fun, talking about feelings is helpful. It's important to try normalise things like talking about mental health.'
My project worker really helped because I had no one to talk to, I just had her and we really got on well.