Equipping Social Workers
By Violetta Roziers & Stelsia Krynauw
Grief is commonly experienced after any kind of loss. However, the experience of grief and loss for children and adolescents in Child and Youth Care Facilities is often more inescapable and profound. These children and youths both possess and are confronted with such complex needs that these amplify the challenges to their understanding of grief and loss. They often have a limited capacity to make sense of and articulate their thoughts and feelings while dealing with grief. Thus, it is vital for the professionals and adults in their lives to be vigilant, sensitive and aware of any hindrance to the expression of emotions around grief and loss, including the capacity to permit space for the processing of their own emotions.
Khululeka had the privilege of facilitating two training programmes in October for social workers who practice in Child and Youth Care Centres (CYCCs). The training was sponsored by the Department of Social Services. Fifty-five social workers from Child and Youth Care Centres across the Western Cape attended the two training programmes. The intention was to equip these social workers with knowledge and practical skills to help plan and facilitate bereavement support groups for children and adolescents, so as to better support the child and youth care workers in their respective institutions.
Participants’ feedback after the training:
- “The course was awesome and very informative. I would recommend that all social workers and also CYCWs also attend this training.”
- “Thank you for such a wonderful training. It was so relevant and did not only equip me to help the children I work with, but was so therapeutic to myself as well as I gained a lot in terms of personally dealing with my own emotions.”
- “This workshop was insightful and equipped me with practical knowledge and resources around grief loss and bereavement.”
The open-mindedness and interactive engagement of the participants during these training sessions are a clear reflection of their passion about the well-being of their clients.