6 month reflections

I have now been working for One-Eighty for 6 months, so I thought I would take the opportunity to reflect on my practice and highlight some of the things I have learnt about myself and my work with young people.

This is the first time I have been involved in work that focuses on both education and behaviour with psychology underpinning the theories of what we do. Therefore, it is important to reflect on the past 6 months and see how my work has evolved as a result of working for One-Eighty.

The first thing I have noticed is the importance of collecting as much information as possible about the young person, their family and their needs. It is only when you have a complete overview of that young person, can you then create the best intervention that will focus on the key issues that the young person is facing. Within this is also the skill of asking the right questions in order to gather all the information you need. It can be easy to miss key evidence and rush into things without having the full picture. Young people are very good at leaving things out (not always intentionally), therefore it is up to the worker to continue investigating until you’re satisfied that you have every piece of information you need.

In the past, I may have had a tendency to jump to conclusions or revert to things that have worked in the past, without any real thought as to what would really work best for that particular young person. I might rely too much on instinct or natural ability to get me through, which quite frankly isn’t enough. A One-Eighty intervention lasts 7 weeks, so it’s vital that I hit the ground running from week one; you don’t want to be 3 weeks into the intervention, realise you’ve missed something significant and need to start again.

The second thing I have learnt is to go into each intervention with an open mind. When you begin collecting all the information you require, you naturally form a perception of that young person and their family. However, the perception you begin to form, can be quickly shattered when you meet the young person for the first time. So far, every time I have met a young person for the first time my initial perception of them has been completely wrong. They are nothing how I imagined them to be. It can be easy to approach the intervention in the wrong manner, based on the information you have collated and jumping to decisions and conclusions before you have met the young person.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at One-Eighty so far. It has been a learning experience for me and a great opportunity for me to identify areas of my work that need to be improved upon. I am looking forward to making these changes to my practice and seeing the effects it will have.

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