The important thing is to build a good relationship

Monday 16 September 2019

Lynn Weis has been working at Caritas Jeunes et Familles for more than 11 years. She is in charge of a living community made up of young girls with a difficult past, but who absolutely want to get out of it. A real challenge for this educator, but also a daily satisfaction.

How did you get into this profession?

I have always wanted to work in the social field. However, it was only during my internship that I realized how much I enjoyed working with young people. I find that we still have a lot of flexibility to guide them as well as possible and, moreover, we quickly obtain concrete results. It's very motivating!

What do you think are the qualities of a good educator?

You have to be understanding towards those you are accompanying. I am convinced that there is a reason for each behaviour and that the solution lies in understanding that reason. At the same time, you have to know how to take a certain distance from your work, otherwise you are quickly overwhelmed and no longer have the serene mind to make the right decisions. If you are not resistant ("belastbar"), it will be very difficult. Finally, I think you also need a good dose of humour, especially when you work with young ladies. That helps a lot!

Are there any things to be particularly careful about when working with young girls?

There is not much difference with other audiences. The important thing is to build a good relationship. Perhaps the only thing that comes to mind is the relationship with time. The girls are constantly late, especially when you're out on trips. You have to keep it in mind when you do your planning.

What do you particularly like about what you do?

In addition to the exchange with young girls, their families and professionals in the sector, there is not only the fact of bringing together different points of view, but also of seeing positive changes in the lives of the young people we support.

And what's not so good?

It is first and foremost the waiting time. Unfortunately, some administrative procedures are very time-consuming and you have to be very patient. It is also to see that some people refuse to get help. This happens from time to time. We then feel very helpless. Our work is based on the cooperation of people.

What makes you stronger on a daily basis?

What motivates me is to see the progress that young girls are making. Even though the girls are placed by court order with us, most of them wanted to come voluntarily to the living community and work with us on their weak points. As a result, they show a good motivation that we try to reinforce with our pedagogical approach that promotes the construction of a relationship of trust without neglecting a certain framework.

Are there any principles that you have set for yourself and that you imperatively follow in your work?

Yes, there are two of them. The first is to ensure at all costs a good balance between my professional and family life. It is essential to take a break or you will not be able to recharge your batteries, the other is the importance of being able to trust your team. I am pleased to see that the community continues to work well even in my absence.

Would you recommend this job to a young person?

Yes, if he has the personality to do it. In fact, some of the young girls we followed in our community have chosen this profession. For the profession, it is of course an invaluable enrichment because they bring the point of view and experience of those who need help. Finally, for us, it is a sign that we have somewhere with our work positively marked these young girls.

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