How can a youth social worker help with conflicts?
"Why do students come to you?" I ask Valerie. She works at a middle school as a youth social worker, so she is attached to the youth welfare office and not to the school and the ministry of education.
"The reasons are different," says Valerie and enumerates:
"Sometimes these conflicts even end in suicidal thoughts", Valerie describes the situation at her school.
First, Valerie tries to get the parents to cooperate. Otherwise, it is good if there are other caregivers, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles or older siblings who can mediate.
"If the welfare of the child is endangered or the pupil no longer wants to go home, in some cases we have to call in the Youth Welfare Office," says Valerie. "Then a member of staff comes to the school and the Youth Welfare Office decides whether the pupil has to be placed in a foster family for the long term or whether the child can be helped on an outpatient basis. There are also other possibilities, such as
But often much can be achieved by strengthening the child:
"I try to strengthen the self-confidence of the pupils and to help by individual education", says Valerie.
It is important to keep in touch throughout their school years and to see what support they need in the respective school year. That can be:
But it can also be important to look at the whole family system and offer systemic advice.
"The means to get started vary depending on the student and family," says Valerie.