As a Family Support Worker with Youth & Family Services at TDCSS (Terrace and District Community Services Society), Michael Carlyle works one-on-one with individuals ages five to 19, helping meet their short-term and long-term needs. Youth come to Michael for all sorts of reasons — some are facing a crisis and need short-term support, some have been referred after trouble at school, some seek support after noticing developmental delays.
Every client has a different reason for seeking support, and Michael and the team of Family Support Workers at TDCSS enjoy coming up with unique solutions for each individual.
“We look for the best opportunity to impact the individual in the short term and long term. Every client is an individual, and we look at the specific needs for that client. With five kids we may use five different methods — it’s so important for us that we have a whole toolbox to have a positive impact every day.”
It’s not just the tools that change, but the location too. Some clients may come into the the Youth & Family Services offices to work on skills, some are more successful working inside the school, and others participate while out in the community.
“We’ve been meeting with some clients at school during the year, and now in the summer time we have an opportunity to practice those skills in the community,” Michael says.
Support for the whole family
Before starting his work with TDCSS Michael worked in aquatics, where he also empowered people to reach their goals.
“In aquatics and in my current role, I work with youth and also with the whole family. If I work on a skill like executive functioning with a client, I’ll share that information with family or school caregivers as well. The goal is to have the best impact on the client.”
One of the skills Michael and the other Family Support Workers work on with clients is self monitoring — to help clients identify their current needs and find ways to meet those needs. It’s a skill that the support workers often use themselves, whether that’s re-evaluating a client’s needs and updating their care plan, or collaborating to find creative solutions.
“We have an excellent group of staff that work together and focus on needs of the individual. An example would be the ability to bounce ideas off of each other. We all have individual experiences and this helps in meeting the needs of the client.”
Access to Youth & Family Services is by referral, through the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), Nisga’a Family Services and Northwest Inter-Nation Family and Community Services (NIFCS). Learn more at tdcss.ca, call (250) 635-3178, email firstname.lastname@example.org, follow them on Facebook or stop by the main office at 101-3219 Eby St.