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Volunteering Reflective Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Cultural Studies
Wordcount: 1766 words Published: 23rd Jul 2018

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As part of my degree I have been in Placement at Barnardo’s to help develop and acquire my knowledge, skills and values necessary to contribute effectively to the development of integrated practice.

Barnardo’s believe ” every child no matter who they are, what they have done or what they have been through, ensuring their needs are met and their voices and views heard”.(http://www.barnardos.org.uk/what_we_do/barnardos_today/what_we_believe.htm)

Barnardo’s vision is of a world where no child is turned away, there main purpose is to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children, reaching and helping children who are not heard and their needs unmet.

Working in the community as a voluntary service they defend, safeguard and support children at key moments to change their lives for the better, fighting to change policy practice and public opinion. They are not a social service provision and endeavour to work alongside families providing early intervention, giving the family itself the tools themselves to prevent Social Service involvement later on through practical parenting skills, attachment approaches and nurturing skills. Families self-refer or are referred to the service by schools, social workers, health visitors, G. P’s and school nurses if they feel that the family has a need for support or guidance helping the family overcome and resolve things that they are struggling with or concerned about.

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The services provided can be grouped into CAPSM/ Nurture First– Pre-birth- 5 years, Improved future (5-12years), which relates to families affected to Parental substance misuse, historically or ongoing. Early Years– 0-5y support and mental health team. Attainment- School years P1-3, offering support to increase engagement and school performance. Kinship-support for families with children under the care of their family. Befriending- engagement with children whose families are already functioning with the service.

The service is embedded with procedures and policies that have been delivered down from Scottish and UK legislations and Acts, such legislations stem down mostly from The United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child and The United Declaration of Human Rights. Acts include, Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, this new version of the act put a system in place to support children and young people and to help detect any problems at an early stage, rather than waiting until a child or young person reaches crisis point. The act also provides extra support for looked after young people in care to try to make sure they have the same opportunities as other children and young people. From this act staff and other agencies have become involved in a collaboratively producing a single child’s plan for each child at a “Team around the child” (TATC) meeting, instead of one per agency. This plan covers the support the child receives, why and how long they will receive it. The service now, because of this act, will offer support and advice to children through to high schools Year 1, but due to funding not children aged 12+. Barnardo’s also constructs it policies and procedures, for example Adoption, Kinship care, Children’s hearings in line with this act, while offering support and advice on accessing the free childcare this act now delivers to 2 and 3 year olds.

The Data Protection Act 1998 is another key legislation enshrined through the service right from the initial Staff Learning plan on the first day with Data Protection training, Safeguarding, IT training and is written through the policies and procedures instructing staff how to handle confidential data and personal details and the SSSC’s Codes of Conduct. The act is set to change in 2017 and Barnardo’s are ready to adapt their procedures ready for this review. Other acts whose principles can be identified in the workings of the Barnardo’s include Equality Act 2010, Child Protection Act 1989, Health and Safety Act, Additional Support for Learning (Scotland) Act 2009.

Steaming from these legislations the service incorporates the frameworks and approaches such as Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) which is a Scottish approach steaming from the UNCRC and Every Child Matters, which came about after the Victoria Climbie report (which also triggered changes to the Borders Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, Children’s Act 2004 and created the role of Children’s Commissioner). These approaches have moulded and shaped the training and practice found in Barnardo’s entrenching their values and mission statements. Barnardo’s embrace the attachment theory (Holmes, 1993, Ch. 3) delivering early intervention strategies such as Five to Thrive developed by Kate Cairns which is then fed down into parent groups and all contact with children, reinforcing the need for parents to nurture a child, co regulate using Dr Williams (2011) technique of “Mindfulness” to approach anxiety, stress and depression.

To obtain a position at Barnardo’s you must possess either a HNC, HND (with or without an SVQ 3) or Degree relevant to the job in a range of social work, health, education or community development fields, or, for some posts, relevant experience. The job titles within the service include Project worker (Grades 1,2 and 3), Nurture facilitator, Attainment officer, Team Manager, Assistant Project worker, Children’s services manager, administration, volunteer co coordinator.

In accordance to the Child Protection Act all employees must possess an Enhanced Disclosure and provide at least 2 references, one at least from a previous employer. Upon commencement of a position with in the service Health and Safety training and Safeguarding code of Conduct will be given on the first day along with the corporate safeguarding, child protection policy and professional boundaries policy. This initial training is to protect the individual and the service, acknowledging the role and boundaries of the job, health and safety in the building and while out with service users. The employee is given training on computer usage, private, professional email accounts to maintain confidentiality,

During the following week, the employee will then be trained on Barnardo’s intranet “Bhive” to complete eLearning, Data Protection, Equality and Diversity, further Health and Safety training, Promoting Equality and Valuing Diversity at Work, Whistleblowing, Services Policy handbook, the Complaints Induction and Information Sharing Courses. This initial staff training must be completed in compliance with the Data Protection Act, Child Protection Act and the Equality and Diversity Act as all Barnardo’s staff should be working in alignment with the Codes of Conduct and With Barnardo’s being registered with the Scottish Social. Inverclyde Council provide 3 mandatory training sessions on GIRFEC that staff must attend and Kate Cairns associates deliver Five to Thrive training which is the attachment ethos Barnardo’s is built on.

Services employees must withhold the same values, principles and roles that the service depicts, adhere to the SSSC Code of Conduct with the service being registered and put the child first at all times.



Cairns, K. (2002). Attachment, trauma and resilience: Therapeutic caring for children. London: British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF). (Cairns, 2002)

Holmes, J. (1993). John Bowlby and attachment theory. New York: Routledge (Holmes 1993, CH 3)

Williams, M. J. G., Penman, D., Kabat-Zinn, J., & Professor of Political Science Mark Williams (2011). Mindfulness: An eight-week plan for finding peace in a frantic world. New York, NY, United States: Rodale Books. (Williams, Penman, Kabat-Zinn, & Professor of Political Science Mark Williams, 2011 p 46-89)


Barnardo’s – BHive – animation (2017, February 27). Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/103703202

Barnardo’s. (2017). UK’s leading children’s charity. Retrieved February 28, 2017, from http://barnardos.org.uk/

Borders, citizenship and immigration act 2009 – UK parliament. (2009, July 20). Retrieved February 28, 2017, from http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2008-09/borderscitizenshipandimmigrationhl.html

Data protection. (2017, February 27). Retrieved February 28, 2017, from https://www.gov.uk/data-protection

Equality, rights, S., updates, see all, Government Equalities Office, & Equality and Human Rights Commission. (2015, June 16). Equality act 2010: Guidance. Retrieved February 28, 2017, from https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance

Government, S., House, S. A., Road, R., & ceu, 0131 556 8400. (2013, January 30). Additional support for learning. Retrieved February 28, 2017, from http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Education/Schools/welfare/ASL

Government, S., House, S. A., Road, R., & ceu, 0131 556 8400. (2017, February 27). Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC). Retrieved February 28, 2017, from http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/gettingitright

Health and safety at work etc act 1974 ” legislation explained. (2016, June 30). Retrieved February 28, 2017, from http://www.hse.gov.uk/legislation/hswa.htm.

Leonard, A. (2017). The children & young people (Scotland) act. Retrieved February 28, 2017, from https://www.cypcs.org.uk/policy/children-young-people-scotland-act

SSSC codes of practice for social service workers and employers – Scottish social services council. Retrieved February 28, 2017, from http://www.sssc.uk.com/about-the-sssc/multimedia-library/publications/37-about-the-sssc/information-material/61-codes-of-practice/1020-sssc-codes-of-practice-for-social-service-workers-and-employers

The UN Convention on the rights of the child tenth report of session 2002-03. (2002). Retrieved from https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200203/jtselect/jtrights/117/117.pdf

Universal declaration of human rights. Retrieved February 28, 2017, from http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html


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