Unit 8- Understand how to support positive outcomes for Children and Young People in Residential Care

Unit 8- Understand how to support positive outcomes for Children and Young People in Residential Care.
Learning outcome 1-
Understand how the social, economic and cultural environment can impact on the outcomes and life chances of children and young people.
1.4- Explain how the personal choices and experience’s available to children and young people can impact on their outcomes and life chances.
The social environment in which a child or young person may grow up in can sometimes affect their development in a negative way. The factors being the house they may be living in, is this a suitable home for a child or young person to live, the conditions may not be the best, no heating, damp cold? Conditions such as these will not do great on their health. Poverty in the household will also have an affect on their lives, thi could be making them an unhealthy weight and also other factors, starvation, lethargic and fatigue often. People who may be around them also have a huge impact a lot of the time. They may learn of the peers who are around them as they know no different to what they have grown up in, this can include addictions, drug and alcohol, and the peers around them, may get involved in anti social baheaviour and not make the best life choices. Due to the choices people are making around them, this could end up with family members being in prison, this could then lead to family members being depressed,this could have n impact on the child or young person also. Also bereavement can cause depression and the same happening agin unfortunately to the young person or child who is in their care.
Economic/poverty factors affecting development can be issue’s such as poor health, disability, addictions and lone parents.
Growing up in poverty can have a huge effect on children’s well-being and their future life chances. For example children living in poverty are more likely to have poor physical and mental health and less likely to achieve their potential at school and in employment. If a parent or both parents have issues to face of their own this ould pose a risk to the child or young person, this could lead to neglect. In some cases this can not be helped and I’m sure in many parents case they don’t mean for this to happen, but a parent with a disability or in ill health may struggle more than a parent who doesn’t have any additional or disability needs. A parent with an addiction to substances can cause considerable harm. Children in these situations are at risk from emotional and physical neglect as they grow up. Also at risk of abuse from their parent or carer who is an addict.
Each parent is an individual and each parent will bring their child up how they deem to think is the most suitable way, however the ways that parents and carers go about developing these connections vary based on cultural belief about parenting and child development, as well as individual preference and capacity. For example in some cultures children are expected to always listen and respect their elders, whiles in other cultures children are taught from an early age to speak up for themselves.

1.1- Explain the impact of poverty on outcomes and life chances for children and young people.

Unemployment of one or both parents can be a facot resulting in poverty, these circumstances can’t always be helped and are sometimes out of the parents control. This could be due to one or both parents may have a disability and find things harder to do on their own, one parent may be a carer for the other parent and have a lot of pressure and responsibility on their shoulders. These issues can have a large effect on the child or young persons life, they may not be achieving to their full potential as they are not getting the support and guidance they need when they are at home. As this may be happening the child’s development could then be suffering and school staff could identify this child needs axtra help and is not keeping up with the other children in the same class as them. This could then affect their social development skills, as they are not doing well in school, they have no help at home, they can become very closed in, very shy and may begin to express their feelings which could end up coming out as anger towards other children or staff at school. Lone parents and also teenage parents could be most likely to be living in poverty and this could affect a child’s life chances and outcomes in some negative ways as a teen parent could be struggling financially, they could be unable to provide for their children with the full care and support which a child needs and unable to buy them facilities for school which won’t help the child to progress on the level they should. The importance and impact of poverty on outcomes and life chances with children and young people can be the simple difference between their parents being employed or being unemployed. The income of parents can determine a child’s prospects and how their future life chances can be either positive or negative. Also the difference of areas a child is raised and brought up in for example an inner city or suburban/rural area, if a child is brought up in a poor area this would have high chances of affecting them in negative ways however if they are brought up in a good area with good schools and positive surroundings this will have a positive affect on their future life chances. Also a child having access to play leisure’s, good facilities and living in a good quality home where they are well fed, clothed and supported all contributes to their outcomes and life chances as well.
1.2- Identify the impacts of social and cultural factors on the lives of children and young people.
These two factors interlink, and can cause different issues in a child or young persons life. Each parent has a different way or bringing their child up, how they discipline them, what life skills to teach and so on. Different beliefs, cultures and up bringings can have this affect on the individual child or young person. For example, if a child is brought up to listen and respect their elders and not answer back, this could make the child maybe a little shy and quiet, wheras if a child or young person who was brought up to not really respect their elders as they have grown up around adults who have not set good examples then this child could then lead to making different decisions than the first child. This could then lead to anti social behaviour and further decisions down the line that could impact massively on their future such as crime. Children or young people may have to go to school associated with their religion and may not understand other peoples choices and lifestyles. They may have been taught different to what other children and young people have been taught. This may make them feel alone and confused. They may have experienced bullying like behaviour towards them on the grounds of their own religious beliefs. Children may have different forms of clothing causing them to get bullied.
1.3 Explain how the personal choices and experience’s available to children and young people can impact on their outcomes and life choices.
You can look at this in many ways. Once a young person gets to that age where they can make their own choices they will begin to choose what they think is the best one, also they can influenced by the people around them on what choice to make. This doesn’t always mean it is not the right choice to make, sometimes young people feel pressure of their parents to make the ‘right’ choices, the young person may not want to go down that road although doesn’t want to tell their parents this as they think they may be letting their parents down. On the other hand you could have a teenager who isn’t at home much with his/her family and hasn’t had the influence of great choices around them growing up, an example like this is going to go the way of maybe them being influenced by other peers around them. If they are spending a lot of time on the streets, this will become the norm for them and they will follow the choices of others to remain with these people and in their eyes have their respect. Regardless of it being the right choice or not.
Learning outcome 2-
Understand how those working with children and young people can support positive outcomes.
2.7- Explain why it is important as practitioners to have high expectations of and ambitions for all children and young people.
As a support worker who loves her job and is her upright biggest passion. I want the children I work with to achieve the absolute best they can do in life. As I look and get to know the children I work with everyday, I know the goals that other people have are very different to the goals we have for these children. This is why I love my job so much as the little things that happen and may seem little to others are huge achievments for us and that is why I love what I do.
Although thinking about this in another way, sometimes you can have too high expectations for children, having these expectations and the child then may not reach them, this can affect their confidence.
2.1- Identify positive outcomes for children and young people that residential childcare services aim to achieve.
From the Every Child Matters Framework, each support worker, practioner, anyone who works with children or young people should be striving to achieve these 5 outcomes.
Be healthy-
Being healthy is not just about eating lots of fruit and drinking 8 glasses of water each day. It’s about young people enjoying a healthy lifestyle, feeling good about them and having good emotional and mental health. This is where we as support workers come in and this is a big part of many things that we do each day. Encourage the children and young people to make the right choices, especially as they become older and learn more about the world we live in. Guide the young people about what is out there and what decision not to make, for example accepting the offer of drugs.
Stay safe-
Ensureing the safety of our children in our setting is paramount and at the top of our list. We do this by having risk assessments in place for each individual child to meet their needs appropriately, staff who enter the building are ensured to have an up to date DBS chack to ensure our Safeguarding regulatons. The children that I work with everyday are also kept safe by having a trained member of staff working with them and being with them at all times, this is to ensure their safety of the medical needs they have should an emergency occur.
Enjoy and achieve-
We like to provide the children here with fun activities to take part in, these can be activities out of the house which the children love to do and enjoy being out of the house, or this could be in house activites such as craft, sensory activities and also doing the housework which the children here do enjoy doing. Thigs such as tidying their bedroom, helping the adults with the washing and cooking. This also promotes their independence and confidence as much as possible.
Make a positive contribution-
We create an environment of a homely effect here as this is the children’s home. The children get involved in many activities as I mentioned above, this includes the cooking, the washing up, the tidying of the house and the make of the beds, plus many more inhouse chores that need doing. The children enjoy doing this and helping out with the adults with these activites. This promotes our children’s confidence and also independence.
Achieve Economic Wellbeing.
Each of our children enjoy going to School every day and have a Carer to accompany them, the children really do enjoy their time at School and love to be in that environment.
2.2- Explain the importance of active participation of children and young people in decisions affecting their lives.
The importance of active participation of children and young people in decisions affecting their lives is if you can find out what the child or family actually want or need. It’s very important to listen to their views and communicate with parents and respect their points of view you need to communicate well with children and take into account that young children may use non-verbal communication. If children and young people are given chances on what activity they would like to do they are making a decision which can help them become confident.
2.3- Explain the importance of designing services around the needs children and young people.
The importance of designing services around the needs of children and young people is to firstly recognise as a support worker that every child is different so each child and young person will have separate needs as well as requirements and also different barriers which could be preventing them from achieving in the best ways possible. The ECM provides five important requirements, which each and every child should all be achieving in. The Children’s Trusts are also put into place to ensure that children services are working together to achieve the ECM outcomes and to ensure the correct referrals are being made for children who have additional needs and who could need extra support. Also through multi-agency working with other children’s services to help identify the needs of a child or young person at an early stage so it can be dealt with quickly and effectively. There are many other services which are there to help support children and their families and the services are highly important because they ensure the outcomes of the ECM framework are indeed possible for all children and young people to meet successfully. The different professional working teams and services are organisations such as, social services, health services, educational psychologists, SENCO’s, learning mentors and many more which each work individually as well as in a team to help provide that support to the needs of children and young people, to also ensure they improve in area’s they are lacking in and achieve in their area of learning and their personal development skills.
2.4- Explain how to support children and young people to make personal choices according to their needs and abilities.
It is best to acknowledge and value the child or young persons voice whenever possible in the planning process. It is very important to take into account the needs of the children and young people in your care. Children who have the ability to express their own needs also learn to consider the needs of others, they may also develop skills of cooperation, negotiation and problem solving. If you involve the children and young people and respect their idea’s thst they are putting across to you, this will help them grow in confidence and self esteem, children love their voice being heard, and feeling a sense of belonging. One way of doing this for children who can tell you their idea’s and the personal choices thy want to make in life is to get them to help you plan activities, encourage them to play a big part in this. The activities should be suited to the children’s age, needs and abilities.
As part of my experience I have worked with children with limited abilities throughout my career. A lot f the time the children I work with are not able to communicate verbally, although they make personal choices each day and this is not a barrier holds them back when in my care. A lot of the time we use pictures to show the child or young person to give them a choice of two objects, choose what they would like to wear, they can make the choice by eye pointing. We also use objects of reference for each avtivity or task we take out to prepare the child or young person and they will let us know if they are happy or not happy with this. If you are working with a child who has limited vision and is not able to make the choice in the same way, it doesn’t mean they can’t make personal choices for themselves. They have the sense of touch and voices, I would talk to the child and go off their facial expressions as to what they would like to wear or do.
2.5- Explain how Social Pedagogy aims to support positive outcomes for children and young people.
2.6- Explain why it is important for practitioners to have high and ambitious expectations for all children and young people.
Working in the care sector I believe it is very important to want each child or young person you work with to have the best in life, regardless of the choices they make, the paths they go down, you want them to succeed and have high ambitions, not just for you to be proud, but for them to be proud of themselves and want the best for themselves also. I think a child or young person knowing you want the best for them gives them a sense of belonging and care. If you expect a child or young person to fail in whatever they do, this is not a good confidence boost for them as they may grow up or begin to think that all they do is fail at most things. Children rise to the expectations that adults give them. It is not pressure to be perfect in everything you do and to never make a mistake, its about learning, growing and being the best they can be and us as carers, adults, parents, guardians giving them chances to succeed.
Learning outcome 3- Understand how disability cam impact on positive outcomes and life chances for children and young people.
3.5- Describe the support available for children and young people with disabilities.
There are many different supports and agencies out their for children and young people with disabilities, but it also differs for each one as to how complex their disability is.
Support are available in many different ways, for example if a child with down syndrome goes to a mainstream School, the child may require that extra support such as a 1:1 teaching assistant to give an extra helping hand with whatever he/she may require. If the support is available there is no reason why children or young people couldn’t go to a mainstream School depending on the complexity of their disability and needs.
Supports in and around a Special Needs School are different from a mainstream, you have teams such as the Speech and Laguage Therapist (SALT). They will assess and treat children and young people with specific speech, language and communication difficulties and helps them enable them to communicate to the best of their ability. They will also liase with the people who work closely with the child or young person to train and enable for further people to keep the consistency of what they have put in place for the child or young person. This could be different things such as a step by step time table, symbols and switch equipment.
There are also more outside agencies that will also intervne in the care of children and young people with more complex and medical needs. Porfessionals such as Doctors who will take control of medication, if the child has Epilepsy they will need different medication to help to control this. Depending on the Physical disability of the child then there will be Physio’s involved who will help, and also take charge of the wheelchair side of things.
As well as all this, there is support for the parent/carer too. There is respite that the child/young person can go to. This could be for one weekend to stay over at a house that specialises in this or it could be for a few hours a day, this would be whatever is funded. I work with children with Complex needs and we have a child who comes for respite every two weeks and will stay all weekend, this gives the parents/carers a break from their day to day duties.