16 Jun 2022

Giving teens a voice gets school off to a fresh start

Youth support
Dedicated staff, like self-professed ‘mother hen’ Residential Case Manager, Cass Jackson, focus on building relationships & creating consistency for the young people in our residential care services.

Dedicated staff, like self-professed ‘mother hen’ and Residential Case Manager, Cass Jackson, focus on building caring relationships and creating consistency for the young people in our residential care services.

Cass explains the four female teens at her service, like many young people who come into our care, had experienced chaotic home environments that did not foster any sort of routine for things like meal and bedtimes, self-care routines or school attendance.

Heading into the new school year, Cass and her team worked with each young person to help them to action their departmental educational support plan.

The plan maps out goals and identifies any funding that could be accessed, or support services the teens may require during the year. Importantly, the team empowered and trusted the young people in the decision-making process, and let them know they were listened to and cared for.

“Our youngest, age 12, was struggling to attend school last year,” Cass said.

“With her transition to secondary school this year, she has been able to prove her independence by riding to and from school each day with friends.

“The excitement of riding has also resulted in her being up and ready to go in the mornings before the youth workers have even made their first coffee!”

Another of the older teens, age 17, was supported to have agency and a voice in her education as she explored the possibility of moving to a new school after struggling socially at her school the previous year.

Cass listened, and worked with her during the holiday break to visit other schools to try and help her find the ‘right fit’. Having visited various schools and conducting her own research, she bravely proved her resilience by going back to her existing school and giving it another chance.

“While it is the same school, she has undertaken it with a new positive attitude and described it as a ‘fresh start’. We are so proud of her,” Cass said.

“It has been a great start to the school year all round, and just shows that what we do is really about connection and making sure the vulnerable children in our care know that we are here to listen and to support them; to help them thrive.”

For more information about Residential Care Services we provide, click here.