A tough meeting!

Have you ever had a meeting where you think lip service is just not enough for the young person.  Today, I sat in a strategy meeting and thought just that.  The young person is left in a strange new (better) foster placement leaving  behind the staff she has grown to know and trust.  Because her Mother rages a campaign against the Local Authority, for removing her children.  Never understanding the damage she has caused to them through neglect and emotional abuse.


As a result she had manipulated her daughter with false hopes and encouraged her to abscond from her placement.  In doing so, managed to make a complaint against three of the staff she cared about.


Today we looked at what happened, looked at the procedures and made decisions on outcomes.  As everyone around the table  nodded and agreed everything was done appropriately.  I could not help but think back to the days that I worked in Residential Childcare.  Remembering working with young people in crisis.  I could not help thinking that the staff had reacted to quickly to an incident that did not need to happen at that point in time.  


Its a simple rule, when someone is screaming and shouting and extremely agitated they will not be able to listen to what you are trying to talk to them about.  This alleged incident occurred due to the staff on shift reacting to quickly.  The result unimaginable to them at the time.  However, leaving the young girl feeling not only rejected by her Mum but also by her carers.


When it came to my turn I felt strongly about what had happened.  So shared my thoughts, talking through the incident from the child’s view.  I shared my own experiences and techniques that might have been more effective both for the staff and also the young person.  


I could feel the anger from the Residential home manager as I made my recommendations.  I could see the slow nod of agreement from the others around the table and finally my Manager.  Who to her credit agreed that she had been having the same thoughts.


It is a shame that for this young person this change in practise is to late, to prevent there placement breaking down.  For the others in the home, there is a chance that this will not be repeated.      

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