My most positive experience as a student of Confederation College was during my 3rdyear placement at the Faye Peterson Transition Home. My placement taught me so much about; team, family systems, the cycle of violence, children and youth affected by violence experiencing trauma.
My Job Today
Today, I am a Youth In Transition Worker. I work with youth 16-24 that are transitioning from the child welfare system in Thunder Bay. I meet one-on-one and occasionally in small groups with youth and together we make goals for the youth to transition to adulthood. I also facilitate financial literacy groups accompanied by a Credit Counsellor for youth in care, specifically crown wards. I assist youth with connections to other agencies and assist them to navigate these complex systems, The youth I work for are a wide variety of people from your university grad to homeless, from football star to young offender.
The Greatest Satisfaction From my Job
My greatest satisfaction from my job comes after hours of work building a relationship with the toughest youth you will ever meet and suddenly, they thank you, or tell you that they trust you. These moments come in different ways like when they refer their friends to you, or or when you haven’t seen them since they were small and they still remember you and how you made them feel, or when a youth that has been homeless for a year living in shelters and they get the keys to the apartment that you helped them get. There is no better job satisfaction than that.
How Confederation College Prepared Me for my Work in the Field
During my education in the Child and Youth Worker Program we discussed real life situations. We learned about why we are who we are, also what our triggers and what our strengths are. We learned about ourselves and how change and positive experiences impact your mind.
My Advice for Anyone Considering This Program
My advice for someone considering this program would be to be serious. Being a Child and Youth Worker is a lifestyle. Your influence on the children and youth will shape their minds and their life experiences. Child and youth Care Workers are; teachers, listeners, difference makers, choice givers, supports, strength seers, future planners, and memory makers.
A Personal Highlight
This is an excerpt from a paper my manager (Sheri Fata, Thunder Bay Counselling) recently wrote to the ministry regarding my work …
“To help demonstrate how our services support youth, we would like to tell you about “Nathan”. When Nathan first entered into service, he was living in a shared accommodation that he could barely afford. He had previous significant involvement with police services which resulted in a period of incarceration, and was trying to comply with probation and parole conditions, which included curfew, community service, employment, and mental health services. He was experiencing significant mental health challenges which he endeavored to cope with through consumption of alcohol and other drugs. His physical health was very poor, and his social support network consisted primarily of young adults in the similar place in their lives. Nathan had been referred to the Young People in Transitions Program by both his CAS Worker and his probation officer, and was looking for assistance to establish stable housing, to access mental health services, to obtain employment, and for life skills support, primarily around his personal finances. Nathan now has been engaged in service for close to two years. Today, he is living in a safe apartment, has been engaged in a long term personal relationship and reports being substance free. He has completed employment workshops, and is looking forward to getting a permanent job. He is meeting the conditions of his probation order, and following through with all of his appointments with probation, mental health services, and his doctor; and he reports a good supportive relationship with the child protection agency. Most importantly, Nathan reports that he ”feels better”. Recently, Nathan introduced a friend of his to the Youth In Transition Worker, and stated to the friend “without her, I don’t know where I’d be”. Nathan has made huge gains this year, and recently completed his income taxes on his own. He has gained the confidence to understand and utilize his strengths, and we will continue to be a resource to him as he continues to transition to independence. “
That was one youth. One highlight.