Why consult a social worker?
Sometimes, children and adolescents face different challenges and parents may feel “powerless” or lack the tools to better help and support their child or adolescent.
A social worker working with children, adolescents and families may be consulted for a variety of reasons, including;
* A child or adolescent who presents emotion regulation challenges, internalized behavioural problems (i.e., social withdrawal, anxiety, depression, lack of self-confidence, etc.), symptoms related to trauma or an externalized problem (i.e., aggression, opposition, hyperactivity, etc.);
* Parents who are experiencing difficulties in the exercise of their parental role (i.e., discipline, structure, communication, etc.);
* Families who face challenges in adapting to a new reality (i.e., moving, blended family, loss of a loved one, etc.).
At such times, it can be helpful and beneficial to consult a social worker to better understand the challenges encountered and receive the guidance and support needed to cope with these difficult times. A needs assessment makes it possible to establish an intervention plan created with the child, adolescent and family, including specific objectives and the means to achieve them. The social worker is trained to intervene in the field of interactions between people and their environment; works in collaboration with the child, adolescent and family’s entourage and offers individual therapy, family therapy and parenting consultations.
Accompanying and supporting families in difficult times;
To obtain a better understanding, expression and management of different emotions and social skills (e.g., sadness, anger, stress, worry, low self-esteem);
Develop and strengthen new skills and abilities to address a variety of issues, including anxiety, mood disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, academic difficulties, giftedness, oppositional and conduct disorders, trauma and adjustment difficulties.;
Practice problem solving to achieve optimal functioning at the individual, family, social and school levels.
Changes can take time and it usually takes a few sessions before the child or adolescent learns the strategies needed to see improvement in symptoms.
The structure of the session varies according to the age of the child or adolescent. The parent may or may not accompany their child and join them at the end of the sessions to get information on how to help them at home.
To better understand the relationships and sources of tension within the family (the family system);
To help and support the family system by facilitating communication and problem solving;
To develop solutions based on the strengths of each family member and their environment.
Parental consultations at IFCEO allow the learning of different strategies to support parents in managing their child’s behavioural and emotional difficulties. These strategies may, for example, focus on emotion management, problem solving and how to give instructions effectively to improve their relationship.
The IFCEO team is currently working on the development of certain group therapies. More information will be available soon.