Work of personal counsellors
When a child arrives to the reform school, he or she is designated two personal key-counsellors who will work alongside the child and family and be their closest support during the entire placement in the reform school. Personal counsellors support the child’s positive growth and development and help with many practical matters in daily life. Personal counsellor work aims to encourage the young person, highlight his or her resources and provide the young person with as much positive feedback as possible. The aim is to create a confidential interactive relationship between the personal counsellors and the child with may promote addressing sensitive and even difficult issues. Personal counsellors are also responsible for cooperation with the child’s guardians, and support parents with bringing up their child as well as in their parenthood together with a family therapist at the reform school.
Personal counsellors are part of a care team consisting of employees from the child’s housing unit. The content of the work of a personal counsellor is guided by a plan for the child’s care and education prepared in cooperation with the child, guardians, care team, a specialist at the reform school (a psychologist, social worker, family therapist, nurse) and the child’s teacher. This cooperation network also regularly assesses the implementation of the plan and agrees on necessary changes.
OMA BOXI for supporting interaction between young people and adults
Together with the Pesäpuu association, reform schools are currently developing a box for promoting inclusion in daily life (OMA BOXI) to support work between young people and their personal counsellors. This involves providing each young person with a box that they can customise for themselves. The box contains cards on various themes, such as working with personal counsellors, inclusion, rights and obligations, and intoxicants. Young people have been strongly involved in the development of the cards, as the cards have been developed as intermediate tasks based on actual interviews of the young people in cooperation with counsellors and those managing the development process. Young people have also been provided with an opportunity to participate in illustrating the cards. The intention is to introduce the box to the work between the young persons and their personal counsellors by the year 2021.