We have one young person who has been with us for some time. Here we reflect on her social pedagogical journey whilst she is able to tell us how her time with Inspire Scotland has been… Above she is all nice and cosy under the blanket that she and her key worker have spent the last few months working between them, below she tells us how cosy we also have made her feel!
The Right Approach; the Social Pedagogical Approach
Here at Inspire Scotland, we pride ourselves on being young person or child centred. Often, we get young people coming into our care with complexities that require the type of care that prove difficult to provide at home or in a previous placement.
It means we need to study, reflect and plan to make sure, not only that we have the right supports in place but they are effective in allowing the young person to achieve their potential; and not just show it.
This is the story of one young person who arrived with a very complex, and for us, new dietary issue – a ketonic diet. We got a chance to speak with support staff just before the end of 2018 to see how she felt about her time at Inspire.
First, we needed to study…
She arrived at Blairbeth House shortly before her 12th birthday. This was due to a foster placement breaking down. She was a girl who was used to staying with her gran from a very young age, until her gran suddenly passed away.
She then moved away to live in a rural area with this foster carer. It was the first transition that must have been very challenging. One of the things she remembered the most from her foster placement was the pet parrot – could we match up!
She still talks of her gran very fondly, as well as her foster carer and, of course the parrot.
It was clear that she needed close care and attention, though she was very affectionate and despite her young age there was a very mature, caring side to her.
Then, we needed to reflect…
Before she came to us and after the foster placement broke down, she stayed in a respite unit for 3 weeks, which she did not like. From there she came to live with us at Blairbeth House.
She was used to living in a home with one adult carer, and she struggled with lots of stimulus. We managed to help her stabilise at the bigger house, but we knew that she needed a single placement and moved her swiftly into one of our single place flats.
She loves her flat and this has proved very successful. It allowed us to show that close care and attention to her, to which she responded positively. It also allowed us to put boundaries in place to which she also responded well.
Finally, we needed to put in place, the right supports…
Since her time at Inspire Scotland she has enjoyed holidays to Dumfries and Ayr. We have been working hard at managing to visit busier places which would be difficult but eventually we have found her managing these with no issues. Days away to M&D's and the Safari Park proved particularly successful during the summer break from school.
Living alone, though with us there 24/7 we know she can often feel lonely, wanting to live in a place like any of our multi residency places where there are other boys and girls with whom she can play with but the stimulation could be too much for her.
We worked hard at making it all about her and because she loves Christmas, and this is her favourite time of year, we visited the Irn Bru carnival in Glasgow and it proved a massive success!
She can struggle with change and we try and keep these to a minimum BUT she recently started High School. The change of environment was difficult for her and her timetable was reduced to suit her needs. With very close working with the school we have manged to slowly, at her pace, increase her timetable. Now, she looks forward going to school, and most days are positive for her.
Listening to her and planning her needs with others has been vital. We have kept everyone together to support her and this has meant a lot of things going on in her life.
She loves shopping, playing games on her iPad, watching tv and playing with her many arts and crafts sets – and there are MANY with which to play!
She has an older sister whom she is close to and is in contact via the phone on a weekly basis.
She used to go horse riding, however as it been a lot colder weather, horse riding has been put off until warmer days.
She is now interested in learning how to swim and we hope she will commence swimming lessons soon. As a treat she goes to Mc Donald's on a Friday evening and a youth club on a Saturday evening.
Her favourite place of all is Asda supermarket; she can spend a lot of time looking at the clothes and art materials!
We listened, learned and acted with Her at the centre. Despite her young age, everyone who worked with her managed to implement the Third Way and because of that we have made a great kid into a better success story!