We all know the importance of relationships in our own lives. Relationships make us feel safe, acknowledged and provide meaning. There should be no surprises that young people in the OOHC system are desperate for close relationships and healthy attachment. Security and trust are developed as a young person is able to form a warm, intimate and continuous relationship with a care giver. However for the majority of high needs young people developing trusting, positive relationships is not easy. Many of these young people have had negative interactions in their family life, social environments and in previous care settings. Many young people struggle to see a shift worker’s offer for relationship as genuine. Each time the relationship with the carer is distrupted, through the scheduling of shifts, or days off, it is a reminder that this relationship is only temporary. Years of establishing rapport with case workers who move on from positions can leave a young person feeling like a work task rather than a relationship partner. Many young people who experience multiple carers become emotionally distant and lack healthy self esteem. This is why a reliable, resilient offer for a long-term relationship can be transformational for young people in need of professional care and support
PIC relationships are real relationships. They are not always smooth sailing, indeed destructive behaviour can be very challenging and establishing trust is a long term project and will have ups and downs. A healthy carer- young person relationship requires support and a desire from both parties for authentic interactions to take place. These relationships are also the key to supporting the client in achieving the positive future they want.
Providing this ‘one-on-one’ relationship is at the core of our model. If the young person gains a trustful relationship, with an advocate and a mentor, they are in an infinitely better position to transform their lives. This is easy to say but can be difficult to achieve. We believe PIC care is their best chance of getting a young person in care there.
“Having a caregiver who provides consistent, responsive care helps children to learn to recognise the nature of their own emotions, and to regulate their own behaviour and emotional states.”
“Young people who feel secure in their relationship readily seek contact with the caregiver when stressed or worried.”