Skip to main content

We recently sat down with Pete, Therapeutic Case Manager in our Secure Base program, to reflect on his experience working in care before he embarks on his next adventure.

Pete came to Lighthouse three years ago, after returning to study during lockdown and completing youth work training. During this time, he has worked with young people in our Secure Base tailored care program which provides an intensive level of care to children and young people aged 0 to 17 with complex needs.

‘There’s always someone to care for.’

After completing his training, Pete got straight into the work and enjoyed supporting the young people. Out-of-home care is busy, and unfortunately, there are so many young people to look after. The study equipped Pete with the knowledge he needed, but the deeper learning really began when he was working in the homes.

Many young people who come into Lighthouse’s Secure Base homes have experienced trauma and display complex behaviour.

‘You have to prove to them that you are a safe adult and a safe human being, because they may never have had safe and supportive adults in their lives before. Once they see that you’re there to support them, you can get through that initial difficult period’.

One of Pete’s biggest learnings from his time working with young people was that no two people are the same. While two young people might seem to have had similar experiences, what works with one might not work with another.

‘I think as humans we naturally try to figure things out, like if I do A, B and C, which has worked before, that it should work again, but it doesn’t always work that way.’

Changing the approach, and keeping an open mind are important when working with young people.

While the work can be very difficult, there are special moments shared with the young people that mean a lot.

‘One of my fondest memories is when everyone gets around the young people, so there’s a bit of a community around them, and when the young people interact with other young people within the homes or at community events.  I think that always made the work worth it in the end, when you could see the young people connecting with others after being isolated within their home environments before coming to Lighthouse.’

Any of the victories, regardless of how big or small, are a win. If the young person has a success, ends up in a better environment or reconnects with family, that’s something to celebrate.

‘When former young people come back to our Youth Resource Centre to visit and say hello, that’s also a big highlight. Sometimes the young person might come back a few years later, after having other experiences outside of Lighthouse, and want to reconnect with the people there. It’s nice that Lighthouse offers that open door policy, and that the young people do often come back and visit.’

While Pete is moving on, the impact he has made, and the meaningful work he has done with the young people in our care will not be forgotten.

Close Menu