Vicki Shields

BA (Hons) Social Sciences 2019
Residential Childcare Officer

Vicki Shields 680

Tell us in more detail what your role entails, what challenges you currently face, and how you are finding ways to cope.

My role entails looking after vulnerable young people and keeping them safe within a residential setting. We are currently facing a number of challenges, for instance, the young people that I look after usually have a background of trauma, they can have attachment disorders and in some cases live with autism. Keeping these young people locked down in a group living situation is difficult for them. In some cases, it means they cannot spend time with their families, they are living on top of each other, we cannot hug or comfort them, they have had CAMH’s appointments cancelled. It is very difficult, however, I am in awe of the way they are dealing with this crisis. They show resilience and patience. We are trying our best to cope by keeping busy. For example, garden parties, walking (within the social distancing guidelines), art and crafts, games, make overs, meaningful chats. In this nature of work there are often little opportunities to chat or bond with the young people but our relationships have strengthened over the past few weeks. 

Do you have a top tip for coping at a time of crisis? Or a few words of advice or support for fellow students and alumni on the front line?
My advice is to look for the positives. Front line work is scary at the moment but we are doing jobs we love and caring for the vulnerable population of our society and nothing feels more like love.

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