Corrections: Literacy and Numeracy:
This month we started the VR project working with our intensive literacy and numeracy students. This has made a big impression on the students involved and on the others who are keen to take part. One of our students who had consistently refused all education courses throughout his sentence is now not only attending class, but he is taking part in discussion and even starting to volunteer his writing and drawing for the mind map activities. This new way of involving and inspiring learners would seem to be working really well.
Corrections: Foundation Skills:
As part of the Foundation Skills Programmes, students are required to become familiar with various Microsoft programmes. Several of the students are not very confident in using computers and can find the work surrounding these units rather daunting. One new young student was embarking on some exercises concerning making spreadsheets, when it was explained to him what he was going to be doing his first response was “No way, I can’t do that!!” With some encouragement, and perseverance from the student, some of the trepidation slowly began to disappear as he discovered some of the more simple functions of the Excel programme. By the end of his first session on the computers this student had a smile instead of the frown, as he left the classroom he said, “That was so cool, I didn’t know computers could do that. I wish we were back on the computers tomorrow.”
Corrections: Skills for Dads/Story Reading Dads – Dunedin:
We had a small group, many of whom had come through from the Skills for Dads programme. A number of the men are very talented artists, so some very beautiful work was produced and there was a high degree of co-operation and encouragement across the group. One stand-out example was the dad who requested a specific guitar tuition book (which was ordered and arrived just before the final class). He created a cardboard practice guitar – child-sized – for his child with colour coded strings, and then added a number of the main chords for a beginner, with matching colour coding. He used this practice guitar in his DVD, to show his child how to use it, and played a song or two as well on a real guitar.
Client Support Service: Milton:
A former client of the service in Milton made a point of dropping in to relay the news that her previous goals had now been fully achieved, and she was in the final stages of moving for a fresh start which looked to be so much better than she had imagined she could find. She credited the service with helping her to broaden her aspirations, which had led to this new opportunity.
Client Support Service:
Eric, a single man in his forties, was referred to the Client Support Service for support in advocating for him with health services. Eric felt that he had not been listened to by these services, and said that he was feeling frustrated at both his ongoing problems and not being heard by those who were supposed to be helping him. He believed that this last factor was actually more of a hindrance to his recovery than the health problems themselves.
Throughout the service, Eric demonstrated his existing knowledge of the health system, his self-reliance in terms of organisation and filing of health-related documents, and his perseverance; despite many set-backs he continued to push for the service to which he knew he was entitled.
Eric’s determination paid off, in that he received the consultation he had been seeking, and was able to express his opinions and have them listened to by the professional concerned.
At the end of the service, Eric said that he felt that having the Client Support Service alongside him had assisted in supporting him to remain focussed and goal-oriented, rather than allowing himself to be distracted by relatively minor concerns, and he was grateful to have had the presence of another professional to lend weight to his voice.
Client Support Service: Youth Transition House:
This month saw another resident find a stable place to move in to. This resident had experienced significant turbulence in her life prior to moving in to the House, and had had to build her independence and rediscover her strength before she was able to take the next step to building a better future.
She credited the House with providing her with a sense of stability, and the Client Support Service in its practical, non-judgemental support, which was available whenever she needed it. She said she was excited about now moving out on her own, and appreciated the availability of follow-up support, even though she felt she it would not be needed.
Little Citizens: Milton:
This month has been a busy month for the under 2s at MLC particularly settling a new child in. This child has found the transition from home to centre a little scary and is finding it tricky to settle in and in trusting new people. We took things slowly working at building up the relationship and the trust both for mum and the child. We sent the mum several texts and some photos keeping her informed of how her child was doing, and also letting her know that if she wasn’t coping it would be a good time to come back. This all helped to ease mum’s mind. By the end of the month we had great success; the child started with minimal distress and was nicely settled on her first full day away from mum and this got better as the week went on. Mum was so grateful and happy for the time put into making this transition work for them. We have had another child (16months) start who has settled in as if she has been here for a long time and has fitted in well with our other toddlers. At the end of March we had a child return from being away for a long period of time, he has not settled back in as quickly as we had hoped, so we are working closely with him in the coming weeks to make him feel welcome and secure in our setting again. K?whai, our canary, is helping with this transition as he mesmerised by him.