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Our carers are key in delivering the quality of care our young people need to heal and thrive. This month we caught up with Noah, one of our carers who works in the Young Parents & Babies and Young Women’s Freedom special-focus program homes to hear about her experience being a carer at Lighthouse.

Noah, Therapeutic Carer

Noah came to Lighthouse after completing her Master of Social Work placement with us. During the placement, Noah was exposed to a variety of roles within Lighthouse and had such a positive experience that she stayed on and became an employee.

“I was pleasantly surprised at the level of thoughtfulness when it came to caring for the young people and caring for the staff who work there.”

It was Lighthouse’s trauma-informed care approach in working with the young people and regular training and reflective practice opportunities for carers that made Noah feel supported and confident in the care she was providing to the young people.

During her time as an employee, Noah has found watching the young people gain skills to advocate for themselves, make meaningful trusting relationships, and gain the confidence and life skills to live independently the most rewarding. Whether it’s getting a job, gaining the confidence to stand up for themselves or catching public transport on their own, these wins are so rewarding to witness.

“I am in constant awe of the strength and determination demonstrated by the young people I work with, whilst acknowledging the hardships and challenges they have had to face along the way to get to where they are now.”

Noah described that in understanding trauma, the recovery process is never linear and that there are many varying ways in which a young person will express their trauma. For those working with the young people to overcome their traumatic experiences, it is important to show consistency and patience. In doing this and getting to know the young person close enough to understand their individual needs, carers can provide adequate support and promote a safe environment in doing so.

In Noah’s experience, she’s found it difficult to see the pain and suffering being expressed by the young people. In reflecting on these moments though, she feels proud that they can trust the team at Lighthouse enough to be vulnerable and show raw emotion and for carers to be able to provide them with a safe environment. This helps the young people to learn that it’s okay to reach out for support and that they don’t have to go through their hardships alone.

“It’s an honour to be able to walk alongside the young people, no matter what the circumstances are – to then have the privilege to watch them overcome these challenges and watch them grow and thrive.”

Outside of her work at Lighthouse, Noah has a passion for social justice and human rights, as well as for music. Having played the piano since she was a child, Noah has found composing music to be a healthy way to escape from the stressors in life and express herself creatively. While she’s had fun playing for different bands and performing in front of audiences, Noah prefers “the personal aspect of getting lost in playing the piano for hours on end after a long day and being able to escape into my own little world where nothing else exists for that moment.”

It’s the thoughtful approach from carers like Noah that help us on our mission to end youth homelessness, and we are thankful for her support.

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