Hi! My name is Trent, and I am a social carer for Like Family. I have been working with them for a little while now, and I wanted to share my experiences and stories of what I do on a regular basis as part of working for Like Family.
This is me and one of my younger clients, Logan. He is a joy to spend time with. Social caring is not without its challenges, of course, but the rewards are plentiful. We will spend hours together outside, doing fun and relatively simple activities together. One of our favourites is to go for bike or scooter rides. Together we have managed to map nearly his entire neighbourhood now and made friends along the way. Logan also lives near a few different skate parks, where he has shown off his advanced skills and taught me that I have a lot to learn!
Logan also loves trampolining, which was not something I knew a lot about. I have learnt quite a bit from him, and we usually spend a good portion of our time together with him on his trampoline, showing off his somersaults and tricks. We also play quite a bit of ‘baseball’. By that I mean we have a baseball bat, a tennis ball, and a diamond of our own creation, often varying in size.
While these activities have the obvious benefits of improving fitness, getting some vitamin D, and allowing Logan to burn pent-up energy and stress, the reason we chose to pursue these activities specifically, was to challenge Logan’s social skills and push him outside his comfort zone. It is wonderful to see the progress we have made together in this area, now having reached the point where Logan feels comfortable with asking other children playing in the park to come and join us!
If there is ever a rainy quieter day, occasionally we will spend our time inside, playing computer games. He is decidedly better at those than I am. Sometimes he also video-calls his friends at the same time. Otherwise, Logan and I will have a Nerf war inside the house! We always play safe and stay very far out of the way of his parents and siblings of course.
I also make sure that we spend at least a few minutes talking about his day. We discuss what happened, and if there were any particular events which were interesting, exciting, or even challenging. We go through his reactions to those events, and I do my best to teach him the ways he can handle those situations, if there is room for improvement, such as learning to walk away from conflict, or acknowledging when he has done exactly what he needed to.
Ultimately, my role as a social carer in Logan’s life is to be a friend, a companion, and a role-model. To provide what is missing from his life since his brothers have moved out of home. I feel incredibly grateful to Like Family and to Logan’s parents for allowing me to be his support, and it is incredibly rewarding to see how much he has grown, and I cannot wait to continue our journey and see where it leads us!
I hope this has helped you see and understand a bit more of what a social carer may do on any day as a member of Like Family, and the wide variety of activities we do.
Thank you for reading my story!