Working with Adolescents

Please note this session does rely on participants having already completed the Understanding and Managing Behaviour workshop.

By the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Describe the various factors that drive adolescent behaviours
  • Explain the importance of not taking the young person’s behaviour personally
  • Explain positive strategies / responses to develop and enhance positive behaviour
  • Describe education disciplinary processes for young people
  • Identify the rights and responsibilities of youth when faced with police interventions
  • Recognise the connection between youth offending and drug and alcohol use
  • Identify signs of substance abuse
  • Identify major issues for youth leaving care and explain ways to positively support youth moving to independence

The first session will explore what is happening for the typical adolescent to help better understand why they behave the way they do. It will explore the role of puberty; brain development and the “tasks” to be completed in this tumultuous stage of life. Additionally this session looks at the extra influence of having experienced maltreatment on shaping the behaviour of young people in care. In exploring these drivers, the session highlights to the carers that it is important to step back from the young person’s behaviours and to not take their behaviour personally. This will allow carers to consider how best to move forward in helping young people change these behaviours

The second session looks at the key principles carers need to consider when responding to the behaviour of a young person. These principles will direct the efforts carers need to make to influence an adolescent’s unwanted behaviours. It will also reintroduce carers of a simple framework they can use when attempting to influence an adolescent’s behaviour.

The third session focuses on when a young person gets themselves into trouble – whether it’s at school, or with the law for offending. Whilst young people get kicked out of school, few are aware of their legal rights. This session outlines the law relating to stand-down, suspension, exclusion and expulsion. It also looks at what happens when there is police intervention. This session also explores how substance abuse has a significant connection with youth offending and police interventions. As such, it describes the signs of substance use and looks at the significant impact substances have on young people’s health

The last session identifies the major issues of concern leading up to, and immediately following, transition from care. This is a vulnerable period in the young person’s life and the carer needs to ensure that the young person has good support during this time. Young people need to learn and practice skills for independence before they leave care and carers need to assist them to do that. This session also explores ways to farewell them with hopes and dreams for their future and offers positive guidance in getting there.

 

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