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Our nurturing team members are the thriving core of Pebbles, and while they strive to brighten young people’s lives, we love empowering them to develop and grow.
Jessica’s work journey is just one example of the many inspiring career pathways possible within our organisation.
Upon graduating in Psychology in 2016, Jessica decided to join Pebbles as a Residential Child Care Worker and was immediately offered the opportunity to also become a Trauma Pathway trainer to assess behaviours and create suitable management plans for our children.
She found supporting young people to achieve positive outcomes extremely rewarding and at the end of 2021, she was ready to take on a new challenge, joining the Commissioning Team as Referral Coordinator to ensure every child and young person is best placed within our family to develop and flourish.
Here, Jessica answers some questions from us, sharing insights about her career path and advice for people willing to start a work journey in Residential Child Care.
At the time, I had just completed my psychology degree at UWS University, and I really wanted to work with children in care. Pebbles attracted me because they support children with a traumatic past, and I was interested in understanding how trauma affects the way young people behave and can form trusting relationships.
I wanted to make a real difference in young lives and potentially change the outcome of children and young people’s future by helping them work through the traumatic events they had experienced.
The most rewarding aspect of the job for me is the strong, positive relationships I have built over the years with many young people, who often find difficult to trust adults. I love offering them stability, routine, and a safe place to call home, which empowers them to start trusting others and form life-changing relationships.
My first few days on the job were eye opening. I had gone in hoping to change all the young people’s lives, but in reality, this is not always possible. I found it particularly challenging when children had hostile behaviours.
However, with the support of our dedicated team, I learnt how to manage challenging situations, keeping in mind that our young people behave in a certain way because of the difficulties they have experienced, and that it is important to ‘connect before correct’.
The Referral Coordinator role appealed to me because it involves finding a nurturing place where young people can thrive. I had been asked in the past to look over referrals within the homes where I worked, and I always enjoyed doing it.
I also knew most of the young people in our Scottish homes at the time, so I felt that my knowledge would be highly beneficial to match our children and young people to the best environment for their needs.
When I applied to join the Commissioning Team, I spoke with my manager, Lorna, who was a huge support to me and encouraged me greatly to attend the interview. She made me feel like I deserved the position and would be good at the role when I possibly doubted myself.
I will always be grateful to Lorna, Registered Manager, and Alex, Deputy Manager, for the positive working relationship we had when I was part of the Forth Craig team, and for their continued support and friendship.
For anyone thinking about working with young people in care, I would say do so if you truly have young people’s best interests at heart. You must be prepared for challenges, but the positive experiences far outweigh the negatives.
Our young people act the way they do, which at times can be defiant and challenging, because they have come from trauma and chaos. Our role is to support and guide them to realise their full potential and worth, providing them with the tools to succeed and flourish in their future once they move on from our care.
The most rewarding aspect of the job for me is the strong, positive relationships
I have built over the years with many young people.Jessica, Referral Coordinator