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In the spotlight with Claire Randall

by PeakCare Qld on 9th October 2014

Home -> Articles -> 2014 -> October -> In the spotlight with Claire Randall

Claire Randall describes her role as a Program Manager of Life Without Barriers’ Intensive Foster Care program at Ipswich as “coordinating and advocating for the supports and services young people require to heal and achieve outcomes. I assist a case management team who support children in out-of-home care. We also work closely with our Carer Support Team to support carers and young people and strengthen their placement.

“Taking a holistic case management approach is essential to ensure young people are provided with the necessary supports required for them to feel safe and to achieve positive outcomes.”

A driving commitment to achieving the best outcomes for young people draws Claire’s team together in ensuring that a holistic approach is adopted in providing for their care. “It is really important to have positive collaboration between the Department, schools, health and therapeutic services. This increases stability, consistency and develops trusting relationships and allows young people in care to experience positive outcomes from a range of avenues throughout their lives. Everyone involved plays a crucial role and especially important is the active participation of the young person themselves. This is central to their individual placement planning and impacts what and how they will experience life.”

The importance of having sound theoretical knowledge to gain the depth of understanding needed to inform the practice of her team is promoted by Claire. “It is vital the team works using a strength-based approach, as well as from a trauma informed platform. Working from a trauma informed platform assists everyone involved with young people to be aware of what young people have experienced and how these experiences can continue to impact across all aspects of their lives. This guides our expectations, acknowledges the capacity of the young person and sets the scene for success.”

Witnessing the achievements of young people is the major source of Claire’s motivation. She recounts the young person who attended school every day for a whole term. “This may be a regular occurrence for many students but for children and young people in care, often overcoming barriers, challenges and trauma to achieve regular expectations and tasks is difficult. When this is achieved it is truly a success, important to acknowledge and worth celebrating!

“Getting the wheels in motion to make goals a reality is based on keeping focussed on achievable small steps that can be built on and creates a drive to achieve more. It is essential we model this, it enables young people to see small success grow into greater achievements and get the taste of motivation and feel their achievement as a reality.”
Claire’s inspiration comes from the team with whom she works every day. “They are creative and think outside the box to create possibilities, opportunities and find solutions with young people. To maintain this motivation for innovation and creativity, there must be ongoing reflection and reviewing of our practice. This keeps us open to new ideas and is important when resources are scarce.”

Claire is enthusiastic about the future and sees the reforms taking place in Queensland as a catalyst for change and new opportunities. “At Life Without Barriers we have been able to introduce new programs that extend services such as outreach family support that focusses on reunification. Also exploring opportunities for family connections through a planned kinship care program is a positive development that will have long term benefits. So too are the desperately needed enhancements to Transition from Care that will open avenues and develop networks and skills for young people that will support them to live independently within their community.”

Claire’s enthusiasm and undeniable commitment is a tangible force. She is a walking reminder that it is often the simplest of things when properly attended to, that can move mountains in the lives of young people. Chief amongst these are working together with young people, acknowledging their efforts and celebrating their success.