Our growing team has a lot on currently but we are not complaining. They’re fascinating, stimulating pieces of work and we’re excited to see how engaged the people we are working with are in thinking about how they can adapt their own communication to help the people they are working with to communicate with effectively. We’re learning so much ourselves along the way from our co-collaborators on all these projects and have been excited to meet many new people from professions that speechies rarely get to work with.
Our Youth Justice pilot projects are being rolled out to new sites currently and we’re particularly pleased that we have been able to include some Care and Protection staff and those working in other agencies in these new projects. We’re also part of the development of new specialist remand projects for those involved in the youth justice services. In those projects we are helping to make sure that the communication involved in all the interactions for young people and families make sense to them, and they can have a strong voice within those interactions.
We are being engaged increasingly by the Courts as Communication Assistants and these roles have lead to some travel around to NZ to various courts and tribunals where we have assisted witnesses, complainants and defendants who have a range of needs.
Our team has been working with Pt Research and a Youth Mentoring service in Auckland to find out from young people what their lives are like and what communication is like for them when they have to interact with agencies like the Police, Courts or at Family Group Conferences. The resulting data provides some fantastic insights which are currently being analysed. We’ll be learning from and talking about these insights and the advice that young people have for professionals over the next few months. Watch this space!
This term sees some regular sessions at a Care and Protection Residence starting so that we can work with staff on embedding the Communication Plans and Communication Passports that the young people have helped us create during their speech-language therapy assessments into everyday life and the various interventions carried out there.
Our own professional development has been high on the agenda too in recent months with useful skills being gained in Life Story Work, knowledge about Unfitness To Plea, and an online module in Restorative Practice on the go. So many areas where speech-language therapists are thin on the ground but have much to offer and much to learn!
We’re looking forward to learning from the practitioners attending the workshops we are putting on too in a few weeks time in Auckland on the 24 November and 7 December. Hope to see you there.