Before coming to Care Visions, I had a little experience in childcare working in schools, summer camps and a school in South Africa, all with different backgrounds and age ranges. However, I had no prior experience in Residential Childcare, so I didn't really know what to expect.
I went into the job with an open mind. I found it hard at first finding my feet and adapting to a job I had never done before. I learned so much on the job with a great support team and an amazing manager.
In terms of recruitment, I don't think anything could prepare you for the job aside from experience. The application process is long but thorough due to the nature of the job.
The induction training was interesting, and I met so many lovely people straight away. The shadow shift was daunting after a single day of training, but it was good to put training in context. I felt more prepared at the end of the week after learning so much I had never heard of before, such as ‘The Sanctuary Model’ and CALM holds.
My first shift was great. I took a young person to the beach and she started telling a story about her family. I told my shift partner this conversation and they made me realise how much of an impression I made, for a young person to share a life story in such a short space of time. It makes you realise how important the job truly is.
When a positive relationship is established, and young people feel comforted enough to share stories and ask for help, there is nothing more rewarding. Also hearing the young people buckled with laughter over a game or a joke or something another carer has done creates such a great atmosphere.
If I had to give someone looking into a career with Care Visions some advice, I’d say ‘be open-minded to learning on the job.’ Learn how to implement self-care and find a distraction away from work to help deal with your own emotions.
Be personal with the young people but don't let them see you being emotional as you’re the strength they look for. Finally, if young people struggle and maybe "lash out", look past the behaviours and ask what's the cause behind it. Look for closure after an incident.
In five years’ time, I’d like to hope I’d still be working within the company, as I love my job so much. It can honestly only be described as the most rewarding, yet challenging job in the world!
Lastly, this job isn’t for everybody and that’s okay! But stick at it, and it will become the best job ever.
We are aware of the feelings and experiences of others. We care through relationships based on empathy, warmth and affection to restore and maintain trust and hope.
We live by our values and our actions demonstrate our commitment to them. We nurture potential and challenge appropriately.
We value others and will act in a way that communicates this. We recognise our differences and celebrate them. We listen to and care for each other.
We aim to protect people from harm. We recognise the impact trauma has and that sustained therapeutic relationships can have a positive impact. Our work is trauma-informed and based on attachment theory.