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Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog: originally posted 10th July 2006

Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog

Friday, October 05, 2007

originally posted 10th July 2006

Does it make a difference????
Does it make a difference???? magnify

Its been an eventful and quite stressful couple of days. I'm heading into night shift no. 1 tonight and I'm kinda heading for that reflection time of the week. (BTW.... I don't always feel like this).

I had to deal with a fight between 2 clients yesterday. Besides the emotional stuff this generates, there was of course all the usual paperwork involved including log entries, incident reports and accident reports - even for seemingly very minor bumps and grazes - we have to cover all angles. There was then the "de-briefing" session I held between those involved to attempt to get them to reflect on what happened. This is just one of the many incidents that have been occuring recently. In fact, even afater I had finished my shift yesterday, for various reasons, I needed to return to the project last night and sleep in as extra cover due to further disruption. Its a difficult job to do at times, trying to impose rules and guidelines for the clients, whilst still trying to stay "in touch" with them and provide a safe place both physically aqnd emotionally. Then there is the verbal abuse we, as staff, take from time to time from clients and the constant questioning about our ability to run the project. In a worldly sense, I get to thinking are we really making a difference? I guess the hardest thing (I've written this before) is seeing the guys self destruct. Its really hard to accept this happens. At times, it just seems like a conveyor belt of guys coming into the project, only to be excluded at some later stage. There are times when it feels like a failure of us as staff, notwithstanding that the individuals themselves take responsibility for their own actions. There are also days when all I seem to do is open room doors for lads that have lost their keys and fetch food for them from the freezer. It can get really frustrating. These thought become much more apparent when it comes to excluding individuals for their behaviour (which will be happening this week). There is clearly very much more work to do and to learn. I know that I have to keep aware of my own feelings, moods and motivation around this time. I still feel there is a need for us as support staff to have somewhere to offload all the stuff we face. Its not really being provided effectively in my view (not that I'm trying to blame anyone). These things just are and we have to live with them until they change.

I had a chat today with a good friend and ex collegue. We were discussing the additional diifculties there are in residential care/support work. I feel this is even more apparent with young people. In fact, I notice the difference when I occasionally work with the Youth Offending Team (my other locum work). There is a major difference between working with a client for a few hours, compared to working in a supported housing unit ( a clients temporary home). My friend has moved on to the more outreach type of work which he prefers. I am still happy with what I'm doing. It is, after all, a calling for me.

All said and done, getting these thoughts and feelings out is something I feel I need to do. Every day is a challenge in far more ways than I could ever have imagined before.

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