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Mayfield & Framfield — East Sussex 01435 872 201

Is working as a residential childcare practitioner what Reece thought it would be? …

How would you describe your role as a residential childcare practitioner at Framfield Children’s Home?

Where would you even start?! This role requires you to be nurturing, a parent, a friend, a support!

You’ll play to your strengths.  For example, I love to cook for people, it’s my way of showing I care so I naturally fell into the kitchen on my first day, and I’ve been there ever since! I was even gifted a personalised chef’s hat for my secret Santa this Christmas!

Basically, you’ll find your own way, and will naturally build your other skills up.  What is important is that we all bring our uniqueness and personalities to the home and it’s great that the young people have a wide variety of adults as role models.

Have you always done this type of role? . . .

No quite the opposite! I spent 9 years in retail, which took me up and down the UK. After promotion to an Area Manager position, I realised that I missed the interaction I was having with people during my Store Management years. So, I moved back south and decided to have a re-think about what I wanted to do. 

I was recommended to apply for the role here at Framfield by a friend. Working with young people was always something I could see myself doing, it was one of my favourite parts about working it retail, helping the kiddo’s get their shoes fitted at a shoe shop that I worked in.

When she told me that there was a vacancy at Framfield, I jumped at the chance.  I interviewed and have never looked back; I’ve found my place and what I should be doing – I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner!

What qualities do you think make a good support worker?

Some of us are great cooks, some are great story tellers and others are sporty and active. What we all have in common is that we’re great listeners, observant and overall, truly care for the young people.

You’ll have to be patient, kindhearted and not afraid to get your hands dirty! This job requires you adapt yourself to countless types of scenarios and to be able to think on your feet. You also have to be authentic; the young people will soon figure out if you’re not!

What does caring mean to you?

It means endless things! It is also different depending on the person. But for me, caring is being present, living in the moment and supporting the young people through the good, the bad and the ugly!

What’s the best thing about your job?

I love that I’m able to bring my own flare, creativity and skills to the home, as well as always improving and learning new skills.  I’m the cook of the home so enjoy making sure the young people are fed, happy and healthy. I also love it when they cook and create new dishes with me – cooking is a great way to get talking.

What’s your priority when you get to work each shift?

My priority is making sure I’m present and focussed on the young people. As basic as it sounds, just “being” with them is sometimes all they want/need. Of course, the first brew is essential!

What would you say to someone who might be thinking of starting a career as a residential childcare practitioner?

What are you waiting for!?  I spent too long in a job that I wasn’t thriving in. Here at Framfield Children’s Home your strengths are celebrated. Every day is completely different, and I leave every day feeling inspired.