A typical day at work was in a residential setting in a group home. We would sit with the three girls and usually watch a movie, go for a walk to the park, or some type of community activity. At lunch time we would eat together and then do a counselling session between the girls to talk about any concerns/comments they had regarding the house. Family visits usually happened at night time where the girls would either bring their family over for a supervised visit, or they would go their and a social worker would go with them to monitor the home visit.
I learned a lot at this job. I found working with the victims of the situation was a lot harder for me than working with the offenders. I also learned a lot about how much impact something happening at such a young age can really affect the child for the rest of their life.
Management at this workplace I felt were never really around. They worked in head office and never stopped by the homes to check on the children or the staff members.
The coworkers were amazing at Supported Lifestyles. All the girls working in the home with me ended up becoming very good friends of mine. We were a very supportive, happy team and we always tried to support each other in our decisions. It was a wonderful place to work.
The hardest part of my job was hearing all that these innocent children had had done to them at such a young age. Also, some parents never were able to change and overcome the obstacles that would help them get their children back. It was very hard to see that some children we'd had in our custody from aged 1 right up until 18 years old. When they become teens it's incredibly tough to see that they are still with us, and in their minds all they can think is that their parents no longer want them.
The most enjoyable part of my job was when a child was "allowed" to finally go home to their parents. It was amazing to see how much some of the parents worked and changed their lives around to get their children back in to their custody. It was very rewarding for us as staff because we felt we had kept them safe, and now were sending them back to live a healthier, happier life.