Team Conference Values
A range of values regarding youth practitioners and the children with whom they work shape our team conferences. THE PROJECT believes the following:
- All team members have something to contribute to every team conference. Because conversations are based on real relationships with children, what staff observe and/or know about the child in question, and what emotions the child evokes, everybody’s viewpoint is valued.
- Team conferences are strength-based:
- Youth practitioners are recognized as the source of important knowledge about children. During team conferences, their knowledge is affirmed, examined, and linked to professional thinking and theory.
- Team members are empowered as they support one another’s problem-solving efforts. The facilitator is not the main source of knowledge and support; group members are. This view is derived directly from the social group work method which is at the heart of team conferencing.
- Youth workers need and deserve support. Youth work is a labor of love; it is hard work that requires strong professional guidance as well as emotional support and encouragement.
- We need to truly notice children in order to respond to their needs. Too many children who face challenges and problems fly under the radar. When staff reflect and focus on the whole child in a structured, purposeful way, they can figure out what strategy can help a child achieve the goals that are uniquely relevant to his or her life (e.g., to feel less alone…to get academic help…to make friends…to try something new).