Some student observations in Dundee CFSP
Judith, our BA (Hons) Social Work final year student was asked to carry out an impromptu focus group on childhood aspirations and levels of contentment with eight local children from St Marys.
Question: What would you aim to do when you grow up?
Answer: Footballer, Footballer, Fireman, Footballer, Policeman, Footballer, and, wait for it…
a Ninja Turtle!
Outcome of Local Children’s Impromptu Aspirational Focus Group
St Mary’s Family Fun Group – A Parent’s View by Laura Mackintosh
‘Sarah’ is a lone parent who has lived in the St Mary’s area for a number of years with her young children. Together they have been coming along to the St Mary’s Family Fun Group once a week and joining in with free activities such as cooking, gardening, Halloween and Christmas parties, trips and many more. Coming along to the Family Fun Group ensures that ‘Sarah’ gets support from other parents who live in the area and can relate to same issues. She also gets the opportunity to speak to workers about any concerns she may be having or be signposted to services which may be valuable such as education and health. Being part of the club also allows her children to mix with other children who are outwith their normal peer group. ‘Sarah’ has also said that in the Winter she doesn’t allow her children to play outside in the evening as it is too cold and dark and so coming along to the club means that they are still socialising and keeping active.
Community Family Support Project from a student’s perspective by Katherine Murray
As a student coming into the Community Family Support Project for my placement I have found it incredibly useful and such an eye opener to the social issues in Dundee.
The organisation truly has a great team of support workers who strive to bring communities together and organise groups for everyone in the area and specifically, low income families.
I have attended some of these groups and seen how much they really try to get people involved in the activities they have going on and how much the groups benefit the individuals who come along. A friendly, confidence building chat and a cup of tea goes a long way especially for some parents who struggle to do anything for themselves because of their busy family lives.
I feel I have learned so much while on placement here that I will take into my future career as a social worker. I developed my communication skills. I now understand and have experienced what barriers children put up e.g. closed body language, withdrawn and only responding in monosyllables and know some new skills to help to break down those barriers such as taking a direct approach and initiating a conversation. At first, for local people who are new and unaware of what the CFSP workers do, it may seem a little nerve wrecking to join these groups. However, as a student I think that the groups are a brilliant way of local people meeting and gaining more confidence and self-esteem.
The experience at CFSP has helped me to get a better knowledge of what community based projects do and how valuable their services are. I cannot speak highly enough of the support workers as they are so welcoming and the work they do is fantastic.