7 March, 2018

YST spend a day at the University of Gloucestershire

As part of this year’s YST Takeover Challenge, Staff from the Youth Support Team (YST) and a small group of young people leaving care, visited the University of Gloucestershire . The main aim of the day was to allow 3rd year social work students the opportunity to hear directly from young people transitioning out of care and learn about their experiences of being in the care system.

The day began with a lecture, introduced by Davey Hambling, course leader for the BSc Social Work degree at the University and YST staff also gave a presentation about the work they do. Following this, the social work students split into small groups each including a young person leaving care. They asked the young person what their time in care has been like and about their relationship with social workers. After this, they were taken on a tour of the University followed by lunch with some of the students.

The day was a great success, most of the young people who attended joined a Care Leavers Youth Forum, hosted by the YST and some have been asked to become more involved in forums hosted by the Social Work department at the University. Some of the students have also expressed an interest in studying at the University. 

Feedback from the day

The students felt that they had their "eyes opened" by hearing from the young people leaving care and they felt it was good to hear a variety of views and not just a ‘best case scenario’. One of the main points the students all picked up on was to - ‘listen, listen, listen – assessments, forms, reports, they can all wait until you’ve really heard this vulnerable person in front of you’

The young people leaving care were then asked to leave the social care students with one piece of advice, some of the responses were:

You aren’t just a child’s social worker, you are their more powerful voice, you can make things happen for them that they can’t.”

Every child is different, not everyone feels the same way – get to know them, before you make choices for their life.”

Davey Hambling, course leader at the University also gave his comments on the day

There has been overwhelmingly positive feedback received from the session and students learnt a huge amount and felt that it was really beneficial for their understanding around Child-Centred practice and listening to the voice of the child. The young people spoke honestly, clearly and really challenge adults assumptions of what is needed for them."