Promote the well-being and resilience of children and young people
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1. Understand the importance of promoting positive well-being and resilience of children and young people.
Factors that influence well-being of children and young people are: •Attachment
Attachments are formed in the very earliest months and years of life. These have a significant influence on emotional development as well as providing a template for the child as he or she grows into adulthood. •Relationships.
Good relationships are really important for children’s well-being. Children have a deep, natural need to connect with other people and to belong to a social group. A child’s ability to develop good relationships is an extremely important step on the path to getting the best out of his or her life. •Emotional security.
This is when a child feels secure and loved by the adults in their life. Helping a child to establish emotional security can be as simple as practising consistency, connection and compassion. •Health.
It is important for a child to be healthy and learn what keeps them healthy and what can be detrimental to their health. •Self esteem.
Healthy self-esteem is like a child’s armour against the challenges of the world. Kids who know their strengths and weaknesses and feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. •Diet.
Good nutrition and a balanced diet help children to grow up healthy. Children and young people need to be taught about eating healthily. •Exercise.
Children who regularly exercise generally enjoy high self-esteem, which in turn affects all aspects of a child’s life, from school performance to social well being. •Rest and sleep.
It is vital for children and young people to get the rest they require and enough sleep to remain healthy and alert. In order to do this they need a comfy place to sleep and the quiet to do so. •Prompt medical/dental attention when needed.
If a child or young person is ill or in pain for extended periods of time it is extremely detrimental. Any health problems or dental problems should be investigated and dealt with at the earliest opportunity. •Preventive health programs.
Children and young people need to be guided and educated through their early years and kept on track to stay healthy. They should be advised on all the things that keep you healthy or can damage your health for example, smoking, drinking and drugs.
Resilience is important as it’s a mechanism by which children and young people are able to recover from negative experiences e.g. not relieving the star reward they thought they behaved well enough to receive, being knocked whilst waiting their turn at the climbing frame; resilience enables them to react positively/non aggressively to it, creating a situation where the other child feels comfortable such as apologising spontaneously. Resilience helps manage the emotions involved if explaining an incident of retaliation others may of considered inappropriate. For young people, resilience supports them in knowing where, for e.g. they say no to drugs/cigarettes, the possible abusive teasing or peer pressure this may evoke is expected and can be managed positively. It also helps when friendships encounter disagreements and romantic/family relationships struggle or breakdown.
Resilience is based on children having -:
· Secure early attachments.
· Confidence from being part of a loving family.
· A good sense of self-identity.
· The ability to act independently.
· The confidence to try new things.
Children need secure early attachments to support their emotional development, as they may find it difficult to form relationships in later life. Children need to develop a sense of identity to feel confident. They need to feel valued. Being part of a loving, caring, kind, supportive family helps a child, giving them self confidence, self esteem and resilience thus leading to a good sense of self identity. Having a positive outlook at school i.e. having self-confidence and self-esteem gives children the choice to build independence. Showing expected behaviour by example i.e. being a good role model, and valuing their work and achievements will all help build up a good relationship with a child. This will all help in leading to better resilience.
How children relate to other people depends on their emotional well being and resilience. As children develop they begin to interact with others. Children who feel good about themselves will be able to relate to others in a more positive way. This in turn will make them feel better emotionally and could help their confidence, in-group situations. It is important that practitioners help children to feel positive about themselves. High self-esteem helps children overcome set backs and cope with difficult situations such as disappointment and hurt feelings. If a child is happy and has high self-esteem this makes the process of relating to others easier. Low self-esteem may mean that a child may start to compare themselves with other children in the group. This can affect their emotional well being if they think that they aren’t doing as well as others.
Children’s communication will depend a lot on their confidence. There are things that can inhibit this e.g. personality, i.e. shy children, life experiences and whether they socialise with others. In order to build their confidence these children will need a lot of positive feedback, praise and encouragement.
You should never judge a child negatively by saying things such as ‘that’s all I would expect from you’. This could damage their self-esteem and confidence, making them less resilient and less likely to want to join in for fear of negative comments. If you label a child rather than their behaviour, i.e. saying you are naughty instead of saying that is naughty behaviour he/she only learns that he/she is naughty and this will lower their self-esteem. If you tell the child that what they did was wrong and explain why, they will develop understanding and learn right from wrong. Commenting on behaviour helps confidence but commenting on the child can lower self-esteem.
When you show disapproval for the behaviour not the child, you show children that they are still accepted, liked and valued. Confidence and self-esteem can be damaged when negative input is given to a child. . This could be from adults or other children. By encouraging children to try new activities this may help with their confidence.
Asking them to participate, showing/explaining to them how to do something if they’re unsure and giving reassurance during a new activity will help. Giving praise and encouragement with each step will make them feel that they can actually achieve something they were unsure of initially. If a child could has their own idea of what a finished project should look like, and this is not achieved they may feel frustrated or lose their confidence in what they can achieve. Support them by giving praise and encouraging comments for what they have achieved so far. Explaining why it may not have happened as planned could ensure feelings are protected. You could show empathy, work together and give suggestions on how it may be possible to complete the project thus achieving a successful outcome. By allowing the child to lead with any new ideas, this will help with confidence and self esteem as they are acting independently. The above ways are effective ways of promoting well-being and resilience in the work place.
Effective ways of promoting well-being and resilience within the work place, especially in my setting, are:- •Attachment
We advise the young people within our care to form positive attachments to positive role models which in turn, results in them proceeding forward in their lives with attachments that may have not been there when they came into our care. •Relationships.
As with attachments with the young people, relationships, especially positive ones, should be encouraged daily. Our young people may not have come into our setting with positive role models in place and is it our responsibility to support them in making new friends, positive relationships and people/mentors whom they can look up to. Good relationships are really important for children’s well-being. Child’s ability to develop good relationships is an extremely important step on the path to getting the best out of his or her life. •Emotional security.
We ensure that the children within our setting feel safe in all aspects, at all times. Although the children we work with have mostly had very little or none emotional security in their lives, it is our responsibility as carers to make them feel stable and sound. If a child does not feel emotionally secure, they are likely to be less happy and outgoing than other children. •Health.
The children within our care are encouraged to engage in a healthy lifestyle whenever possible. Healthy meals are cooked throughout the day and a sit down, hearty, healthy meal is cooked in the night. The young people are encouraged to exercise (go to the gym, play football, swimming, mountain climbing etc). It is an important part of their daily lifestyle in which good food and plenty of exercise is encouraged. •Self esteem.
Young people who come into setting, mainly have low self esteem due to the environment that they have come from. Some do not show it and it emits off others. Healthy self-esteem is like a child’s armour against the challenges of the world. Kids who know their strengths and weaknesses and feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. We try and lift up every single child who comes into our care for them to leave and lead the best possible life that they can. •Diet.
Good nutrition and a balanced diet help children to grow up healthy. Children and young people are taught and educated at school regarding the benefits of a good healthy, balanced diet. •Preventive health programs.
Children and young people need to be guided and educated through their early years and kept on track to stay healthy. They should be advised on all the things that keep you healthy or can damage your health for example, smoking, drinking and drugs. This is managed at my setting, with posters, talks from health professionals and guidance from staff and managers alike.
The role of the practitioner is able to support the development of children’s self confidence, self esteem and resilience in a variety of ways: Provide consistent boundaries so that children know what is expected of them. Use praise and encouragement to support individual efforts and celebrate achievements. Recognise the importance of each step a child takes towards independences and celebrate that accomplishment. Include children in decision making and ensure choices are provided so children take control. Listen and respect children, showing genuine interest
Respond to children with warmth, patience and genuine interest. Respect their right to have their own opinions. Provide opportunities for children to achieve and do things they feel proud of. By working in partnership with parents and carers you’re able to share these examples in differing ways to support children in both their environments – at home and in the setting. Newsletters
Time to chat
Display boards in waiting areas
Positve, supportive, respectful attitudes and approach to partnerships Involving parents in assessments / observing their children and sharing information that enables a setting to plan for children’s interests – feedback, meetings, news from home, culture, traditions. Introduce and expand on concepts with parents about children eg. transitions, attachment, expected behaviour, development patterns, schema, well-being, choices and decision making – rule setting, healthy food choices, personal hygiene eg. hand washing, teeth cleaning, night wear and day wear
2. Understand how to support the develop of children and young people’s social and emotional identity and self esteem in line with their age and level of understanding.
It is fluid and ever changing, growing, and developing with the child as a result of the child’s life experiences. Those experiences shape a child’s sense of who they are, where they belong and how society views them. How a child is spoken to and treated impacts on their emotional identity. Negative interaction with a child or young person will result in a negative identity. If a child is ignored, not given high expectations, lacks support and encouragement they may view themselves as someone of little importance or worth. The environment in which they live can impact on their social identity. If they come from an area that is run down or known for its social problems they will be viewed as being part of the culture of the area. They will be given a negative social identity and may adopt one because it is the norm in the area or they have a desire to fit in. This could negatively impact on their well being and resilience.
Identity and self image are key to a child or young person’s well being. A lack of identity leads to a sense of not belonging, of being an ‘outsider’. A poor self image leads to negative feeling about who they are and what they can achieve, resulting in poor self esteem. It is therefore important that children and young people are encouraged and supported to understand, not only their own self image and identity, but those of the people around them. Identity and self image are about a sense of belonging. By showing children and young people that we are all different and that this is acceptable you are giving them the confidence to be themselves. By being understanding and adaptable you are showing them that they can develop and change their sense of who they are with each new experience and become the person they want to be.
By setting realistic goals and targets for a child to achieve, you will develop their self-esteem. Giving them a task that is too difficult will set them up to fail and damage self esteem. When you are involved in the planning process, you will set goals and targets for each individual. By making each task/activity/experience achievable, the child will develop a sense of pride and confidence when it is completed.
3. Be able to provide children and young people with a positive outlook on their lives..
Solution focused is a theoretical approach that enables children to see a way through the problems that they have in their lives and build skills to understand those that they may encounter in the future. It helps to show that whilst conflicts and barriers do, & will always in some form exist, they do not, and need not be all consuming, nor prevent the child from achieving their hopes and ambitions.
Having a positive outlook on life will involve an idea of now & ‘later’; how it’s expected life will progress. Career choice, hobbies, interests, having a family of your own, relationships, where we live, types of furniture, foods to enjoy, younger children focus on obtaining the resources for play, choices to explore self & others and the attention that supports their well-being, self esteem, confidence and resilience. If a barrier presents itself to jeopardise this projection it can appear to be an outcome that’s impossible to achieve. The approach puts the voice of the child or young person at the centre of solution sourcing, as the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) supports the identification of needs.
By enabling choice and providing guidance if, or where necessary for a positive choice to be identified, one that works towards achieving the need, goal or want of the moment. It will support ways to overcome or work through feelings of sadness, conflict, upset, change, disappointment; a toy that another has, a fourth biscuit that is unhealthy, crossing a busy road to retrieve a dropped ball, understanding and coming to terms with the loss of a loved one – animal or human through death or moving away / distance, being let down by a trusted someone – a friend, a parent, a professional, having a tooth ache, feeling unwell, recognising rights, and have the means to
Factors and issues to consider;
• Emotional security
• Self esteem
• Rest and sleep
• Prompt medical/dental attention when needed
• Preventive health programmes
Supporting children and young people to help identify with their own self image and identity may include:
• How the positive role models are seen & how they’re portrayed
• The cultural/ethnic networks available
• Life story work, all about me – my likes, my dislikes, let’s explore
4. Be able to respond to the health needs of children and young people.
It is extremely important that the health and well-being of a young person is considered paramount and should this not always be the case, it is important to know who to speak to and where to go. Within my setting, there are policies and procedures put in plans to ensure that each young person is healthy and well. All practitioners working with children and families should: Be familiar with and follow your organisation’s procedures and protocols for promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children in your area, and know who to contact in your organisation to express concerns about a child’s welfare. Remember that an allegation of child abuse or neglect may lead to a criminal investigation, so don’t do anything that may jeopardise a police investigation, such as asking a child leading questions or attempting to investigate the allegations of abuse.
If you are responsible for making referrals, know who to contact in police, health, education, school and children’s social care to express concerns about a child’s welfare. Refer any concerns about child abuse or neglect to children’s social care or the police. Have an understanding of the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families, which underpins the processes of assessing needs, planning services and reviewing the effectiveness of service provision at all stages of work with children in need and families. (The dimensions of the Common Assessment Framework (2006b) are based on those in the Assessment Framework.) When referring a child to children’s social services, you should consider and include any information you have on the child’s developmental needs and their parents’/carers’ ability to respond to these needs within the context of their wider family and environment.
This information may have been obtained during the completion of a Common Assessment (2006b). Similarly, when contributing to an assessment or providing services you should consider what contribution you are able to make in respect of each of these three domains. Specialist assessments, in particular, are likely to provide information relevant to a specific dimension, such as health, education or family functioning. See the child and ascertain his or her wishes and feelings as part of considering what action to take in relation to concerns about the child’s welfare. Communicate with the child in a way that is appropriate to their age, understanding and preference. This is especially important for disabled children and for children whose preferred language is not English. The nature of this communication will also depend on the substance and seriousness of the concerns and you may require advice from children’s social care or the police to ensure that neither the safety of the child nor any subsequent investigation is jeopardised.
Where concerns arise as a result of information given by a child it is important to reassure the child but not to promise confidentiality. Record full information about the child at first point of contact, including name(s), address(es), gender, date of birth, name(s) of person(s) with parental responsibility (for consent purposes) and primary carer(s), if different, and keep this information up to date. In schools, this information will be part of the pupil’s record. Record in writing all concerns, discussions about the child, decisions made, and the reasons for those decisions. The child’s records should include an up-to-date chronology, and details of the lead worker in the relevant agency – for example, a social worker, GP, health visitor or teacher. Talk to your manager and other professionals: always share your concerns, and discuss any differences of opinion. Follow up your concerns.
Always follow up oral communications to other professionals in writing and ensure your message is clear.
These are some of the examples of what you should do should you feel that a child or young person’s well-being is being put at risk. Is it extremely important that information is passed on to secure that young person’s safety and future are safely put with the right organisation(s) so that child can fulfil their childhood.