There seems to be a constant push to do more with less in children’s services, and being overwhelmed by it all is a common state of affairs. But if you dig a little deeper with that children’s professional, you will get to the why. Why they continue to work in this sector. Why they continue to advocate for the most vulnerable, and strive to make their lives better. And that reason is love.
Nobody stays working in children’s services unless they love what they do. Unless they love working with children, young people and their families — and love making a difference.
As an organisation, bringing love to children’s services is central to our mission. Our vision has always been a society where ‘imagination’, ‘love’, and ‘endless possibilities’ are the words that people associate with child and family services.
It is a vision of a world where young people can walk into their futures with joy. Love has the power to transform children’s services not just because it’s nice to feel loved — but because feeling love and genuine care from someone who is dedicated to improving your life can be a transformative experience.
All of us as human beings need to experience love and connection in order to feel secure and supported in this world. For the young people who use our services, feeling truly loved and nurtured by the professionals who are helping them to progress through life can catalyse a huge shift, and the beginning of an entirely new chapter.
Feeling loved and cared for by the professionals in charge of helping you can give young people hope. When they feel truly believed in and recognised for who they are, this can give them the strength to take on new challenges, and give them the resilience they need to face adversity.
The children we work with regularly tell us that our holistic approach and the genuine love we show them has enabled them to do things they previously thought were impossible. They gain the confidence to expand their world and engage socially with others. They rediscover their love of learning by being able to follow their passions, and they report improvements in their mental
It all starts with love. The young people we work with feel valued, heard and respected, because their voices are at the centre of our service delivery.
And when they’re accessing our services, they can express themselves in a safe and held environment. They can share their interests, thoughts and worries without feeling they are being judged or assessed. They can talk with us as people — get angry, cry, laugh, or dance around without feeling they will be rejected. Love is being able to be yourself, and to be understood. It’s someone putting in the effort to understand who you are, and help you to become more of that in your own time.
This is the formula we use with everyone. We try to find the love in all our interactions, whether that’s with the families we work with, or the professionals we come into contact with. We want everyone to feel that we value, hear, and have love for them. Hopefully that little spark of understanding and connection will grow and spread.
The love we show is then multiplied, when they pass on a little bit of love to others.
After all, love times love is Love Squared.