Jacqueline, a Residential Childcare Worker reflects on her first few months with Care Visions.

After 17 years in childcare, I decided that I wanted to venture into residential care. After completing my BA degree in Childhood Practice, I thought it was time to explore this line of work.

The application process was thorough, as it should be, and I was pleased that Rob from Human Resources supported me throughout my application. I had no hesitation when starting the job, only the normal nerves as I would have had in any new position. My parents fostered for many years when I was growing up, so I felt that gave me a little insight into what to expect in my role.

I had mixed emotions on my first day as I was very excited but also very nervous. My perception of residential work had been influenced by others but after meeting my team and our young people, I was at ease and questioned why I was so nervous to begin with.

Every day has been very different, but equally as rewarding. Seeing our young people genuinely smile and feel safe in the services that they know as home, is one of the best parts of my job. It’s also extremely rewarding to see our young people so committed to their work and education. It makes it all worthwhile.

As with any job, we face different barriers and experience different challenges with our young people at times. However, the good moments and brilliant days make these challenges a distant memory. A lot of people question the work and life balance in my job, as it’s such a hands-on role, but I find that my work and home life are similar in some ways. I have two teenage stepkids and it still amazes me when I discover the parallels in both challenges and moments to treasure.

My biggest achievement to date is the relationships that I’m developing with our young people. Currently, we’re working on a garage clean up with our two teenage boys after hearing how much they’d love to have a games room. This is still in the very early stages, but the boys are keen to help, and our plans are well underway.

I have visited some of our other services, and this is something I love about the job. I’m welcome in every house and I enjoy meeting and spending time with the other service managers, carers and young people.

My advice to anyone who is considering a career in residential care would be to stop putting it off and go for it. My only regret is not having done it years ago.