Introduce yourself and your role at Gaddum
Hi, I’m Jess and I work in 2 roles at Gaddum – I work 3 days a week as a Children & Young Person’s (CYP) Bereavement Therapist, and 2 days a week as a Complex Care Therapeutic Support Worker. I’m a qualified and registered Art Therapist and this is the therapeutic modality which I predominantly work within – art making is a great tool to aid and support communication.
In a nutshell, what does your job involve?
Both jobs involve working directly with people of all ages who’ve been referred into the Complex Care or CYP Bereavement services to receive therapy. Therapy sessions are offered face-to-face in schools or community venues, or online, text or via phone – to suit the needs of the individual.
How do you start the day?
I start my workdays by checking and responding to emails and texts before I hit the road! Generally, 5 days a week I’m out and about in my car travelling to schools and community venues with my art trolley in the boot ready to provide therapeutic interventions. Making calls to schools and parents/carers are also a regular early morning start off alongside planning therapy sessions and updating clinical notes.
Describe some of your morning duties, any meetings you attend etc.
Following-up any safeguarding concerns or tasks are always a priority, and as a therapist working with children and families, I get invited to regular Team Around the Family and Child in Need meetings. I’m required to attend external clinical supervision with an experienced supervisor – these meetings alongside catch-ups and supervisions with my service manager can be scheduled within any part of my day. Monthly online meetings with Children’s Community Nurses and CAMHS Clinical Psychologist and other key workers connected to families are part of my caseload management.
What do you normally do for lunch? (go for walk, favourite place to eat etc)
Lunchtime is often changeable! It depends where I am – maybe between schools and venues, or between home and office – home is my work-base, but I also utilise a Gaddum office space a couple of times a week. If I’m at home, I eat, chat and play with my cat and/or walk in my local park/go round the block, but if I’m on the road, I may have a roam in a nearby shopping precinct or eat my packed lunch in the venue, or sometimes in my car.
Describe your afternoon duties, workshops, groups, tasks etc.
Therapy sessions, travelling between venues, writing clinical notes, reporting any safeguarding and following procedures in relation to these. Making texts, calls, emails and planning for therapy sessions for the next day. Group supervision is often a monthly afternoon activity to touch base and discuss work with my fabulous colleagues!
How do you like to wrap up or spend the last hour of the day?
As above! Making sense of what the next day could or will hold.