Day in a life of a Residential Childcare Worker
Today is Professional Care Worker’s Day and we would like to thank all of the care workers at Five Rivers for all of the amazing work that you do. We also have a story describing a day in the life of a residential care worker by one of one of the staff at Five Rivers.
* DING DONG *
A face appears in the sitting room window, head swivelled away from Tintin and Snowy’s exciting adventure on Netflix.
“It’s Helen!” declares a voice. It’s said in such an upbeat manner that any thoughts of what else I could have done with such a gloriously sunny day slip away in a second. No one comes to the door and when the young person watching Tintin realises this he runs to the door himself and throws his arms around my waist in a spontaneous hug.
“Come and watch…Tintin is looking for Red Rackham’s treasure.” I promise to be in there as soon as I’ve put my bag away and make my way to the office aware that Tintin already has his most faithful viewer back on the sofa.
In the office I’m given a brief handover by the team leader, one young person has declined going to ‘contact’ with his mum, another has yet to get out of bed because he is struggling with his forthcoming transition to live with foster carers, one is already out for the day and two are watching TV.
True to my promise I watch the rest of the Tintin adventure before myself, another member of staff and two young people head off with lunches, tarpaulins (for den making), kindling, matches and the all important marshmallows for roasting. In the car there is bickering despite attempted distractions and at one point I’m not sure we’re even going to make it to the woods. However once there, adventure and exploration are more compelling than arguing and the boys enjoy a day wading down the stream, trying to find a good place to make a den and egging each other on to jump off the bank into the water. Stood in the water, close but not too close, I am impressed with how the earlier bickering and antagonising comments have developed into having fun, taking risks and trusting each other as one boy assures the other that if he jumps into a certain spot in the stream it’s flat and rock free. He jumps…and lands with a splash. A lot of laughing ensues as the boys make their way to the banking and take their wellies off…calling to us to see how much stream water was in them.
On the way home, there’s mild bickering but the fun of the day isn’t forgotten as once home I’m called into the bathroom to see a graze that was gained during a daring jump off ‘Whale Rock’, it’s shown to me proudly and I comment on how even Tintin would be impressed!
After tea, and a house meeting where two tired boys thank me and the other member of staff (as well as each other) for taking them to play in the woods, I snuggle up on ‘Tintin’s’ bed to watch a film.
All the boys go to sleep unusually early allowing the staff team to catch up with each other’s days as they type up paperwork and squeeze in last minute jobs. As well as fun and giggles there have been blips and averted crisis’s but it seems to help to share and I leave to go home thinking how genuinely lucky I am to be able to both bring opportunities to our boys as well as to share their affection and love of adventure and fun.
I do however sleep well!