This video by PeakCare features completely un-scripted discussion by four Queensland residential care workers about what the Government’s introduction of minimum qualifications standards mean to them. This is a ‘must-watch’ video for not only all residential care workers, but also all policy-makers, executive and operational managers, and practitioners who have an involvement or interest in the delivery of residential care services.

Transcript

Will

To me this initiative is crucial. It's the basic kind of educational level that a worker needs to have to work in a residential - needs to be the same across the state.

 

Carmen

My qualifications are a Diploma of Community Services and Community Work, and also a Cert four in Child Protection and Youth Juvenile Justice as well. The qualifications that I currently have assist me in having the knowledge and understanding to be able to work with my clients, as well as engage with them and work with them in a professional manner.

 

Marianne

I did my diploma in Sydney four years ago and I think the Diploma is a necessity in our - in our field today. I think the skills that I learned from working, from doing my diploma, it has

taught me so many things on top of the life skills that I already had.

 

Bianca

So I hold a qualification in Cert 4 Community Services, and I've also got a Diploma of Leadership Management, but I'm also currently completing the new Cert 4 in Community Intervention.

 

To me I find that having that qualification is going to enable me to provide a better quality service to my own people. Not just another social perspective, but also an emotional level. You know, we need to respect the fact that some of our young people have been through some traumatic, traumatic events in their lives, and so being able to really get down on their level, then come back with them and build those relationships with them is so important to achieve some higher outcomes for them.

 

Will

The first thing is education - the more you know how to understand what the issues are, how and to understand what the challenges, are the better prepared you have to handle a situation.

 

Carmen

I do feel like it does assist myself using those frameworks and being able to use them whilst working with the young person.

 

Will

They need to have the same language, the same way of looking at things. And it's kind of like, you know, a good house - you need to have a good foundation.

 

Marianne

I think it was very, very important just to learn that the safety to understand a child that have been traumatized. To respect their feelings, and mainly listening - I think listening is the biggest tool that anyone's learned from, from working and getting their diploma.

 

Carmen

This gives me the knowledge and the skill to be able to do what I do when I'm in that workplace. It also makes me feel competent and capable in doing my work. At the same time it makes me feel safe knowing that there's these appropriate skills that I can use.

 

Will

So it's crucial that the team all is aware of how to deal in certain circumstances.

 

Marianne

It's taught us to do a lot of a lot of thinking about what we would how we would want to be treated, and knowing these children have been traumatized, we tend to have a lot of respect and empathy for them.

 

Will

I strongly believe that a framework, that every organization has adopted and has implemented, will ensure that definitely during transfer between residential's. That that's a big one. So that means straightaway that every young person goes from one residential to another residential, they use the same language. But they also have everything written down in a certain way that the other organizations story goes - I know what you're trying to do here with this young person - these are the issues, these are the opportunities and put it in the same language, then straightaway it makes it so much easier.

 

Bianca

Yeah I love therapeutic support work. I think it's so uplifting that you're able to work with young people in a one-on-one setting, and be able to provide that therapeutic support -pushing aside the behaviours that they see and solely focusing on the emotional level and connecting with them that way. It's so powerful.

 

Will

The first thing is the language - you're all using the same language to describe some of the things. The number two is the education will give you insights in what - what the young person is experiencing at that time. And the other third thing is that it gives a kind of like a theoretical model behind it of how certain situations should be approached. And if you all are doing it the same way and you have an understanding and you're all acting in a certain way, it's much better for young people.

 

Carmen

I feel like that's very important that we - we know those skills and those frameworks and the theory as well, and that we're able to do the practical side of things well. So it goes hand in hand and it marries one another. And has a good balance of theory as well as practice.

 

Bianca

Within our organization and we have a minimum requirement for youth workers to have a minimum of Cert 3. So with this for now rolling out, we've actually - like I mentioned we've partnered within RTO, so that they can take the skills that they use or need on the floor, and then chose to cross-reference back to that Cert 4. So if every new employee and every current employee is having to complete that module, irrelevant of if they have external qualifications, just because of that Hope and Healing that’s in there. We actually want them to be able to utilize that.

 

Marianne

With my diploma I think I would like to go further with the company I’m with at the moment. I would love to be a coordinator of a house one day - I think that that would be very rewarding for myself, and because I got my diploma later on in life as well, I think that doing something for myself is very important.

 

Bianca

By me being able to start off your news work and starting at the bottom and using those skills that I equipped during my training and during my education, it was able for me to go ‘I've done this now let's take the next step’. And not only I guess putting it to practice with the young people, but then putting it to practice with my team members in the support that they needed, because you know, our role is so intense.

 

Will

I think it's crucial that across the state everybody has the same level and that gives us a fair starting point as well, that everybody knows what to do in a certain circumstance and has an understanding of the young people they're going to work with.

 

Carmen

And I feel like it's going to break a lot of that fear of, I can't, you know - I can do my work well practically, but you know, like looking into a book or reading or doing an exam I'm not so good. So I feel like that's really going to support and push people to be able to face some of those insecurities or fears.

 

 

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