Friday, January 13, 2012

Gaining Trust

Sometimes one of the hardest things is to get through to a student. Often if they are living in a tough home situation, they try to close themselves off from other people, even those trying to help. Heather’s been working with us for 2 years now. After we started working with Heather, we learned that while she lived with both her parents and her four siblings, the house was a little unruly. Her parents lacked parenting skills and the home was unstructured. On top of that her father was abusive to Heather and her siblings.

In the beginning she behaved very strangely. She would walk around the classroom with her hoodie over her head, be disruptive in class and make strange noises for no reason. She is an extremely shy girl and we worked with her individually last year to build her self-esteem and confidence. This year we moved her to the Girls’ Group because we thought interaction with her peers might be helpful. It is a constant struggle with Heather. Sometimes she’s great but other times she will act out in class just so I or one of the other social workers will pull her out of class.

It’s clear that we’ve gained a level of trust from Heather, because she will seek Partnership with Children social workers out to comfort her. However, it’s important that she learns to trust other people. I’ve noticed some improvement this year. She’s speaking up more in her group and making the effort to interact. Hopefully this is the first step of many to building her confidence and social abilities.

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