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3 tools for working with youth

Three tools for working with Youth in Care who might otherwise age out.
by Bob Lewis on 8 October 2013

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Transcript of 3 tools for working with youth

Think About Development
Engaging, Supporting and Sustaining Teens
your young people
The Video Project
The Family Bound Program
9 Group Sessions
Weekly
Bridge Families
Experiential
Six Videos, Not Six Visits
Six Video Sessions
Time-limited Video Sessions
Urgency
Reassessing All the Old Labels
Grief & Mourning
Recasting Our Youth
Children & youth in care are negatively labeled
Every mistake is documented
Development is misunderstood
Grieving behavior is called misbehavior
Mourning needs are almost never in the mix
What are the general age appropriate tasks?
What mistakes are there in mastering those tasks?
Past events and developmental tasks, how do they interrelate?
There is no growth without some missteps
Mistakes are not signs of mental illness
Grief is not a choice, it is not mental illness, it is a human response.
Society accepts a wide range of grieving behavior
How much and how many have youth in care lost?
Mourning is what one does about it.
Getting out of care is ALWAYS urgent.
Permanently
Safely
Securely
No matter how long the wait has been
Healing, organized video sessions:
Prep & permission
Before...
When it happened (came into care)...
Since it happened (my journey)...
It's really like this...
In the future I hope...
Processing makes for 5-10 minute clips possible
The video telling is more healing process than videography.
The camera brings its own compelling script
Developing well-being
Leading to permanence and safety
Therapeutic process without stigma of "therapy"
The worker, the youth and all those s/he trusts examine all the questions.
Can be scary to start, but youth and workers agree it's worth it
5-10 minute clips make a watchable final DVD
Prepping it, talking about it, doing it, reviewing it:
Processing.
The Real Truth About Families
What Are Families For, Anyway?
What Kind of Family is Best for Me?
Fitting In
Staying In
Loss is a Part of Living
I've Been a Lot of Places
I've Learned a Lot of Things
Looking Back - Moving Forward
Recruited, foster, adoptive, relatives...
5 weekends to practice between group meetings
Self conscious parenting
Mistakes expected
Think about the recasting.....
Activities in every session
Practice homework
Two group leaders
Step-by-step, do-it-yourself leaders' guide
http://rglewis.com/RGLewis%20Site/Proposals/Proposal%201%2013.pdf

Got a question, call me 857-222-3060
New roles, different measures
In a healing process, young people identify what role they have played and what they hope for the future.
The process and all the questions discussed
Unlimited time to process the questions in advance
Recasting family role
Every family is a bridge to permanence
Recasting Our Youth:
New roles, different measures
The Video Project:
Seeing the Voices of Youth,
Setting thRecord Straight
The Family Bound Program:
A Toolkit for Preparing Teens for Permanent Family Connections

1. Acknowledge the reality of the loss.
2. Embrace the pain of the loss.
3. Remember the person who’s gone.
4. Develop a new self-identity.
5. Search for meaning.
6. Receive ongoing support from others.
Understanding the Six Needs of Mourning

From “Healing your Grieving Heart"
by Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD
Adapted some for children in foster care
~gently confront yourself
~it may occur over weeks and months (this is ok)
~acknowledge your loss with your head and then your heart
~keep in mind that integration comes in doses, as you are ready
Tell someone about the loss today. This will help you work on this important need.
1. Acknowledge the reality of the loss.
2. Embrace the pain of the loss.
~we don't naturally want to do this - it's easier to avoid
~this is how you learn to reconcile yourself to it
~dose yourself on embracing your pain as you need to -you can't do it all at once.
Reach out and spend time with someone who doesn't try to take your pain and sense of loss away.
3. Remember the person who’s gone.
~he/she stays on through our memories
~actively remember and commemorate the good things you remember; it's healthy
~never let someone else try to take your memories away (trying to help you); it's good for you to continue to display those pictures. ~remembering the past makes hoping for the future possible.
Brainstorm a list of characteristics or memories of the person who’s gone. Write it down as fast as you can for ten minutes, then put away the list for future reflection.
4. Develop a new self-identity.
~part of who you are was formed by the relationship you had with that person who is gone. ~the way you defined yourself and the way society defines you has changed (ex: to foster kid, adoptive kid, etc.)
~re-anchor yourself, reconstruct your self-identity. This is long, hard work.
~you may discover some positive changes as you work on this (more caring, less judgmental, more strong)
Write this statement down: I used to be __. Now that __, I am ___. This makes me feel _________.
5. Search for meaning.
~naturally you will question the meaning and purpose of life (particularly this one that you are now grieving).
~Why and How questions may surface uncontrollably. (Why did this happen? How will I go on?)
~question your philosophy of life, explore different religions and spiritualities
~"Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." Even if you have faith, you still need to mourn.
Write down a list of 'why' questions that have come up for you since you lost them. Go through them with a friend, counselor or worker who won't feel she has to give you all the answers.
6. Receive ongoing support from others.
~we need the love and understanding of others to heal.
~don't feel ashamed of your dependence right now; revel knowing others care for you.
~society places too much value on "doing well" and "getting over it" that we lose support too soon.
~grief is a process, not an event. Youth will need support for weeks, months and years.
Friends want to help but don't know how. Call them and tell them you'll need help/
The Three Tools
http://www.thetoolkit.org
Three tools for working with
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