Today we visited the Smethwick West Enterprise Ladywood Family Centre! It was really fun and cool to explore and the resources and support that the family centre offers.
The building was renovated by Action for Children organization, which is a nationwide organization that aims to support the community in children and their families. This location just opened in September and has 22 children at their facility currently. We were mostly located in the Stay and Play room, which offers a place for employees to care for children and encourages parent interaction. Some parents may not know how to interact with their children, and the employees will support and guide the parents along this journey. They also offer mental health services for parents and will support them as they are in the referral process. Lastly, they teach parents the importance of showing children a routine. A routine is very important, as it guides them in the meals of the day, making sure that they are getting enough sleep, and going to school during the day. If a child goes out of routine, it can make a child not know what to expect and may experience anxiety as well. Most importantly, employees may be able to identify child protection issues and refer the child in risk of danger to Social Services if applicable.
In the nursery, there are 2-4 year olds. We were able to tour the facility and observed that the children are given much space to run around and play. Play is an important part of development and hindering playtime can be detrimental to development. Enforcing rules is important, but showing too much power in decisions as a caretaker can make a child scared and overwhelmed. They have many choices of what they want to do in the nursery- they can play with sensory toys, make decisions, and play with classmates.
Back at BCU, we learned about social care and how social workers work in partnership with children and families. We listened to a great poem called “Welcome to Holland”, which spoke of awareness for children with special needs. It was very touching and I recommend reading it.
The speakers emphasized the importance of knowing your rights as a patient and as a future nurse or teacher, advocating for your patients/students and explaining these rights to them. What can you do to support them? How can you advocate for them? How can you educate them on the system so they are equipped with the proper tools to live in the community?
Social workers are not in schools in the UK. After schools began opening up, the Department of Education decided to put social workers in schools. They do not have enough evidence to make a conclusion concerning the data, but it can be seen how much they are making a difference in the children’s lives. The number of children currently suffering or likely to suffer from harm has decreased in these schools where social workers were placed.
After, we had a pizza party with some of the BCU students. It was great talking to them, I had a lovely time!
Tonight we are preparing for our big presentations tomorrow!