We are sharing stories of how working in residential care can transform lives. By sharing the stories of the people who work in residential care we hope to offer an insight into the skills and experiences of our team and why they are well placed to offer therapeutic care to our children and young people.
Chloe is a Residential Support Worker.
How long have you been supporting young people in one way or another? How do you do this?
I have been working with children and young people in one way or another for over 11 years. This has included helping children with ASN in the classroom, roles as a swimming teacher and more recently, prior to working at Carolina House Trust, working as a Play Co-ordinator and Occupational Therapist.
What skills do you bring to the team?
Through my work and studies to become a qualified Occupational Therapist, I have built an understanding of the importance of ‘doing’ or engaging in occupations (activities) that are important to us and the direct impact engaging in these occupations can have on our sense of health and wellbeing. Our occupations can include self-care (washing, dressing etc), leisure (hobbies, sports, time with friends), or productivity (education, volunteering, work etc). For young people who have experienced adverse childhood experiences and/or been through trauma, they may struggle to engage in or complete the occupations they want or need to do. It is, therefore, our job to help the young people we work with to be able to access and engage in the things important to them. This can be done by taking the time to listen and get to know the young people, their views and preferences and using their views to inform the work we do and plans we put in place. I believe I have patience and listening skills to help make this possible. I also have an understanding of the importance of recognising and celebrating the ‘little steps’ of progress achieved by young people, no matter how small!
What is your CHT or residential care career highlight?
Seeing the young people achieve things they didn’t think were possible and seeing the children and young people we work with smiling and having a laugh.
Have you had a low point? How did you overcome it?
Life naturally has its ups and downs. We all experience down days or times that we find particularly difficult, but it’s about learning to recognise that this is okay, building resilience and taking time out to focus on ourself as and when required. It’s important that we help young people to understand and build these skills too.
What has been the funniest moment of your CHT or residential care career?
Far too many to mention!
What do you enjoy doing when you have some time to yourself?
Spending time with those closest to me, being outdoors, and going for walks. I particularly enjoy being near open water or the sea and listening to the sound of the waves. I have always enjoyed teaching children to swim so when and where possible I try and keep this up. I also enjoy watching international rugby. And I try to keep active by swimming, running or completing home workouts – sometimes this is enjoyable or sometimes not so much! But I always enjoy the sense of accomplishment afterwards.
What do you think is unique about Tarvit Cottage that supports young people in our care?
Being a small setting with the opportunity for 1:1 support. The homely setting offers a space for children and young people to feel safe and secure and provides the opportunity for young people to build positive and nurturing relationships with staff. Tarvit has plenty of countryside on its doorstep, and the beach a short drive away. There are lots of opportunities nearby that support young people to thrive and flourish.
The staff team is also diverse with varying experience and interests!