Advocating for young people in schools
If you are supporting young people who are still engaged in education, there’s every chance you have had to attend a meeting with the school/education program to discuss the management of challenging behaviors in the classroom.
Fortunately, many schools are willing to work collaboratively and be flexible in their ability to support these young people. However there are still far too many schools that would rather wipe their hands clean of the ‘problem’ and protect the best interests of their schools reputation.
Youth workers, this is your time to shine! Nine times out of ten, you will be the one who knows the young person best, you will understand their needs and have their trust. You therefore hold the keys to potentially change the trajectory of their relationship and experience within educational settings.
Make yourselves known to the school, offer to attend care team meetings, introduce yourself to any of the student welfare or wellbeing staff members. With the young person’s consent, work collaboratively and share individual treatment and recovery plans. Help them to have a deeper understanding and consideration for the young person. Encourage and promote teachers to work from a resilience and strength based framework rather than focussing on deficits.
Remember too, that if all else fails, KNOW THEIR RIGHTS!