There are many Social, Economic and Cultural factors that will impact the lives and development of the Children and Young People in my care, these can include:
Cramped, damp or cold conditions will not promote good health and may affect development
Addiction inside living accommodations, or the Child or Young Person being addicted to substances will undoubtedly have an adverse impact not only on health but also on concentration levels and might also lead to neglect, poverty, low self-esteem and poor eating.
Offending and Anti-Social behaviour
If there someone within the family is in prison other family members may become depressed, which can also lead to neglect.
High levels of Anti-Social behaviour around Children and Young People might also cause them to be pulled into the “wrong” crowd and become involved in crime themselves.
If there has been bereavement within the family other family members may become depressed, which can also lead to neglect.
Research has shown that living in poverty has the largest negative effect on a Child or Young Person’s development. If a family is poor then there might not be enough food, clothing or shelter.
All families bring their Children up differently, and have the right to do so. A family’s cultural and religious background and belief being “different” to those around them may lead to a Child or Young Person becoming or feeling isolated.
High or low family expectations may cause a Child or Young Person to feel pressured which might have an adverse impact on development.
1.2 Explain the importance and impact of poverty on outcomes and life chances for Children and Young People:
Poverty can adversely affect many aspects of a Child or Young Person’s life and development, without enough food, clean water, sleep, warmth and clothing all other developmental needs will be affected. Education, health, social interaction and relationships as well as emotional well-being all of these will have a negative impact on the Children and Young People as they grow, seriously damaging their chances at succeeding and achieving the positive outcomes needed to realise their full potential. Research has shown that children may fail to develop normally if they are rarely spoken to, exposed too few toys or do not have opportunities to explore and experiment. These children therefore, despite their genetic potential, are automatically at a disadvantage because the poverty they live in has such a profound effect.
It is important when working with Children and Young People to ensure they actively contribute towards their own development by making personal choices, and also how we and other practitioners influence their decision making. As a care worker it is my responsibility to guide the Children and Young People in my care to make their own decisions, but at the same time to help “guide” the Children and Young People to make sensible and well thought out decisions, bearing in mind how these decisions will impact their future for the better.
Asking Children and Young People to do something as simple as completing a menu and activity planner can help to show them that thinking ahead pays off as if they decide at the beginning of the week to spend all their activity money they may struggle to entertain themselves as the week goes on. Taking part in residents meetings will allow them to shape the home and the way staff work around themselves giving a holistic and personalised approach. Keyworking sessions can also be a good tool in aiding individual thought processes and allowing them personal choices, such as college courses, hobbies and extra-curricular activities.
Learning outcome 2 – Understand how practitioners can make a positive difference in outcomes for Children and Young People:
All Children and Young People grow up in different environments but the quality of care and experiences offered in settings and by other services can contribute significantly towards positive outcomes for all children. The Every Child Matters framework (2003) was introduced as a direct result of a review of services offered to Children and Young People and identifies some of the ways in which practitioners can aid the Children and Young People in their care to make positive and personal choices and experiences that will have a positive impact on their lives. Positive outcomes for Children and Young People include:
Each local authority has the duty to ensure that all Children and Young People placed with them achieve the 5 positive outcomes as a minimum.
When designing services based around the needs of Children and Young People it is important to ensure they benefit them effectively, knowing their opinions, interests and their developmental age will aid in this. Without knowing this services will not be tailored to the Child or Young Person and the intended outcomes may be affected. Encouraging a Child or Young Person to participate in the planning of these services and discussing what they want will aid carers and professionals to cater adapt services to better aid their needs and wants, helping the Children and Young People to develop their confidence, independence and aid their future choices and development.
It is important to encourage Children and Young People to actively participate in all decisions affecting their lives as not only does it aid in boosting their confidence and self-esteem but also helps them to feel important, to realize that it’s their life and how they choose to live it is ultimately their decision, and for them to realize that when they leave care we will not be there to make their decisions for them. Children and Young People are encouraged to be actively involved in their Care Placement and Action Plans, to attend and voice their opinions in their LAC reviews and any review meetings.
This also allows the Children and Young People to understand that decisions made around their life are all given due consideration and that they have a voice which will be heard in the making of any decision, as well as being informed immediately of any decision made relating to their care. 2.4 Explain how to support Children and Young People according to their age, needs and abilities to make personal choices and experiences that have a positive impact on their lives:
When working with Children and Young People carers build positive and trusting relationships with them, this allows us to identify and discuss further their likes, dislikes, interests and levels of development. This assists us when supporting Children and Young People to make positive decisions and choices, planning activities and experiences to meet their needs and abilities will also become easier. When supporting Children and Young People it’s important not to over-estimate their abilities as failing a task or activity can knock their confidence and may lead to them being unwilling to participate further, bearing in mind their age, abilities and any special restrictions before setting anything in place is vitally important. At the same time it is very important not to set goals that are too easy to achieve as this may lead to the Child or Young Person becoming bored, insult them or lead to a lack of interest.
Learning outcome 3 – Understand the possible impact of disability, special requirements (additional needs) and attitudes on positive outcomes for Children and Young People:
Disability occurs if a child or young person has an impairment that has a ‘substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to day tasks (Equality Act 2010). The term ‘special educational needs’ is often used to describe the additional needs of a person with a disability, practitioners need knowledge, sensitivity and understanding in order to work effectively with the Child or Young Person. It is important to consider the importance of a positive environment in promoting the 5 outcomes for Children and Young People who have impairment or additional needs. Those with a disability, impairment or additional needs may be affected when striving to achieve, if they are not recognised and supported to be given the chances to achieve their full potential.
It is important to maintain a positive and professional attitude towards all disabilities and people with specific requirements as a negative, inappropriate or unprofessional manner may lead to a Child or Young Person feeling alienated, humiliated, isolated or angry, preventing them from becoming part of a group and exacerbating the situation further. This will not only have a negative impact on the Child or Young Person’s confidence and self-esteem, which will affect their future chances and outcomes, but may have an adverse way the rest of the group approach disabilities.
It is important when working with Children and Young People with or experiencing a disability or impairment that staff’ are understanding, vigilant and proactive in recognizing the Child or Young Person’s needs, whilst at the same time not patronizing. Positive attitudes and approaches are vital in this area to ensure that the Children and Young People in our care are given the chances to achieve positive outcomes, regardless of disability or impairment.
This model views disability as being caused by people and the environment around the disabled person. It is a view that focuses on the responsibility of society to provide a supportive environment for disabled people that enables them to achieve their full potential. This approach will see practitioner’s working together within the environments and wider society to support those with disability more positively focusing on what they may be able to achieve, rather than what they can’t.
This will allow those with disabilities affecting their development to take a more active and positive approach and outlook on their lives and will enable them to enjoy a fuller life regardless of their disability. It is important to identify the things they already like and enjoy and therefore plan according to these offering more challenging tasks or activities to support development in their chosen interests and to improve on those skills. It is important to give praise and encouragement for all their achievements, no matter how small they may appear to others.
This model views disability as an illness and considers that the practitioner’s job is to make the Child or Young Person better or more normal. It is a view that focuses on what the Child or Young Person cannot do, rather than what they can do. This model can be seen as beneficial to those who are temporarily disabled due to an illness or injury such as a broken leg or someone suffering from an infection that may need medical assistance to help the road to recovery.
This could be with the use of medication or plaster casts and physiotherapy techniques to aid recovery that will fix the temporary disability and therefore allow the individual to carry on with their development as usual. It is important that all practitioners today do not give up on those with disability seeing them as individuals that may never fully recover or get better and therefore will not achieve very much, and it is therefore not worth trying to support them to achieve and look forward with a positive attitude.
Equipment or technology to aid those with impairments and disabilities, such as hearing aids or equipment such as wheelchairs or walking frames to support an individual with their specific need.
These can include speech and language therapists as well as physiotherapists. They are able to provide support for specific impairments, for example speech and language therapy and for those needing assistance with physical disabilities.
Healthcare and Educational professionals:
Provide healthcare and developmental checks for Children or Young People of a young age including health visitors and GP’s. For Children or Young People suffering with emotional and behavioural difficulties affecting their development services such as CAMHs are available to support. Educational professionals are responsible for the development of Children and Young People’s educational abilities and includes teachers, teaching assistants and classroom support workers including parent volunteers
Learning outcome 4 – Understand the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion in promoting positive outcomes for Children and Young People:
Each Child and Young Person I work will have different abilities and interests, some stemming from cultural backgrounds or beliefs and some from personal experiences and interests; this is referred to as “Diversity”. Inclusion” is the idea that all experiences, idea’s and interests, backgrounds, cultural differences or heritages are all treated and respected the same amount, this is imperative to help all Children and Young People to achieve their full potential.
In my role as a carer it is important I promote and encourage the Children and Young People in my care to embrace and nurture diversity and equality to support positive outcomes for all involved. Working in ways that promote equality and diversity will teach the Children and Young People in my care to value others and appreciate their differences, I will always speak to new Children and Young People about their culture and background showing a genuine interest in their heritage and always look for new and exciting ways to promote diversity in my workplace, celebrating different cultural holidays and important events can aid greatly in this.
Every Child and Young Person deserves to have chance to realise their full potential, be it through educational facilities, extra-curricular activities or otherwise Equality mean that every Child or Young Person has the right to be treated and provided with the same opportunities and respect as anyone else, regardless of any cultural differences
Inclusive practice is behaviour that is based on a number of principles (truths that inform actions) and will promote self-esteem and self-worth for each Child or Young Person whilst also supporting them to learn to treat others equally and to be respectful and appreciate the diversity and equality of other cultures in the wider society. The positive outcomes of inclusive behaviour include immediate benefits but there are also on-going and wide reaching benefits. How gender, ethnicity, culture and social background are portrayed in early years of development have a huge impact on the expectations they develop about their future.
Prejudice can have negative effects on the perpetrators of discriminatory practice, as they fail to experience the benefits of diversity, equality and inclusion and fail to broaden their minds to embrace diversity.
Compare, giving examples, ways in which services for Children, Young People and their carers take account of and promote equality, diversity and inclusion to promote positive outcomes:
It is important when caring for children and young people be aware of the dangers of stereotyping, discrimination and prejudice and to ensure my practice does not form any stereotypes that may lead to prejudice and discriminatory patterns occurring within the workplace negatively and affecting the lives and positive outcomes of the Children or Young People within my care. There are many ways to promote diversity, inclusion and equality including talking about culture belief and customs; researching and understanding different cultures; combating stereotyping and holding different culture nights to educate all around the different cultures and heritages from across the world.
Within the Children’s homes we regularly facilitate these cultural themed nights to support the diversity of each resident’s background and culture, as well as other cultures in order to encourage other residents to learn and embrace other cultures and respect the identities of the residents they live alongside, as well as those they may meet later in life. This can also support building new peer groups and helps breakdown prejudices of other individual cultures of our wider society through ignorance and fear.
When communicating with the Children and Young People and their families it is important that I respect their heritage and culture and at times may need to show knowledge of this to demonstrate inclusive practice. It is important to show all Children and Young People that I respect them and their background, and value them as a person, whatever their characteristics or background.
When working with the young people, I use inclusive practice by pushing aside any prejudice or pre-conceived ideas I may have on meeting a new resident or when reading any referral information. I also ensure when creating the Child or Young Person’s care and development plans that they are encouraged to actively participate to include their wishes and feelings to allow them to feel important and to know that their opinions are considered in the planning of their care. When promoting equal opportunities, I ensure I am able to source additional support for those Children and Young People requiring specialised services to support any disability or additional special needs, allowing them to receive the same opportunities as other residents to participate in activities or other interests.
Being a responsible and positive role model “Theme” nights (based around different countries and cultures) Set challenging activities to encourage empathy for others who perhaps have physical disabilities and require assistance of a wheelchair to allow experience of that disability Offer opportunities for the Children and Young People to volunteer in organisations or support groups for people with particular needs Encourage fundraising activities that support minority groups Create opportunities for discussion about subjects such as racism, sexism and homophobia, this may be during residents meetings or in keyworking sessions or just on-the-fly
It is however important to take the following into account and possibly adapting different methods when considering such things as
During my time working in care I have worked with a young man whose parents followed a strict religious routine, despite peer pressure against his religion and his parents insisting he attend a place of worship every day that he did not want to follow quite so stringently, with the help of myself and the rest of the team he became confident in his religion and found his own balance, building his confidence greatly and allowing him to live his own life, unrestricted by the strict religious implications imposed on him by his family but also able to follow the religion he believed in. He shared parts of his culture with the other Children and Young People in the home and with his confidence they understood his belief and respected it, helping them to embrace the diversity of their home. He presented as a confident and self-sure young man, seeming appreciative when others showed interest and asked about his religion to gain knowledge.