Personal Advisors (PAs) are local authority workers offering support and advice to young people leaving care. This includes support with finances, education and employment, and personal wellbeing.
The Children & Young People’s Health Partnership (CYPHP) designed and delivered a bespoke training package to meet the needs of PAs and care leavers. The first of three modules focused on developing skills around motivational interviewing, improving awareness and identification of mental health issues, and engaging young people with complex challenging lives.
The second module was designed specifically to meet needs identified by PAs including increasing knowledge about the Law and regulations; benefits; childhood development, and supporting young care leavers who have become parents, or who were refugees.
The final module concluded last week, providing an opportunity for self-reflection and to discuss values and beliefs in day-to-day practice.
When asked what they would do differently as a result of the course, PAs said:
- “Praise – look at positives, what’s going well.”
- “Not making harsh judgments about young people exhibiting challenges.”
- “Ensure I build a positive relationship with young person.”
- “Patience and listening.”
- “Think about how I engage with young person.”
When asked if they would recommend the course, participants said:
- “This course would be very good for new PAs.”
- “Networking, it is important to know and share knowledge, experience and services available.’
- “It was good to have time away to reflect upon practice and gain some information which was not known.’
CYPHP is planning to hold a workshop in the autumn with the PAs to follow up on their experiences since the training, and to understand the impact of the training course on outcomes and experiences for young people.
A formal report will be available following the workshop and materials will be made available on the CYPHP website.
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