Learning How to Support Others to do the Same

My name is Lydia and I am currently a Social Work Student at One-Eighty. I attend Oxford Brookes University and am in my second year of study.

I started at One-Eighty in January 2015 and have already learnt so much about working with young people. My previous experience had been in working with adults so I was keen to develop my experience of working with children and young people. One-Eighty really appealed to me as a placement because of the unique style of work they do.

In my time here I have learnt how to work with young people that have become disengaged with school, many of which are on the edge of exclusion. I have learnt various techniques to help young people engage, such as the use of games in session, and restorative practice. Restorative practice offers an alternative way of addressing discipline and behavioural issues, and offers a framework for responding to these issues however, it should not be considered as a behaviour management tool.

Restorative practice aims to establish four main points, what happened, who is affected, the feelings of themselves and others and resolutions/moving forward. The focus is responsibility and problem-solving rather than punishment to deter young people from repeating the behaviour. This framework can be used in a number of contexts such as, a one way conversation, larger and smaller groups.

Many of the young people that we work with at One-Eighty have a negative relationship with education and the authoritarian approach is not affective. By using the restorative approach we are able to offer a positive social learning context that is not always available in other areas of their lives.

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