Week 5 ONLY AN INTERPRETATION Tammy Kreiser

THIS IS ONLY AN INTERPRETATION, FIVE SENTENCES AND A QUESTION IS ALL I NEED. TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS, HAVE REFERENCES! ASK PROBING QUESTIONS AND MAKE STATEMENTS BASED OFF WHAT THEY WROTE

The verbal interaction was a professional one that went bad because of timing, distractions and not paying attention on the receiving end but both parties were to blame. I am going to set the stage of the type of environment this was and the numerous distractions that can take place and how the normal scenario of how staff communicated with each other and how staff communicated with the youth.

I worked 7 years in a maximum juvenile facility with children ages 8-18 of both genders. Girls on one side Boys on another. Communication was conducted both verbally and written through the counselors and other staff. All communication pertaining to the youth’s behavior was in written documentation and emailed or hand delivered to their case workers. Verbal communication was the only form that was used with the juveniles (i.e relaying messages, discipline, instructions, and reminders) with this being said numerous verbal communications on the same topic would need to be delivered because these kids were not always in the right mindset or once again easily distracted. Counselors would need to remember to remind and reiterate the verbal communication frequently if needed.

Each counselor was assigned to a certain number of youth and they were our responsibility each shift and then our written notes would then be provided to the next counselor after our shift was over. It was a lot to remember but we did have the tools to be organized with our communication. Within the shelter it was easily to get distracted because your main focus is on the kids and their ongoing interaction with each other and staff. Before every shift change, the head supervisor would give updates and status on any changes on that new shift or updates on specific kids.

In this story communication on a youth was not relayed to the next counselor’s shift. The counselor on 1st shift received a message from the caseworker stating the youth was no longer able to receive visits from their parent until the charges were lifted. This youth had a very disturbing background, suffered from depression; they were a cutter, along with many other mental health issues. The instructions we had was to be very considerate, caution, delicate, and be sympathetic with our approach and communication with this youth and to have the nurse and therapist aware and a part of all communication that could make them distraught which in this case and at this time it was everything. The youth was having a serious meltdown. This was a Sunday and this was visitor day and the message was never relayed to the youth that due to the current circumstances no visits were approved.

The youth were allowed to make phone calls on Sundays also, the youth was concerned and at this time and called the family member asking when they were getting here. The family member states I thought I wasn’t allowed to come the youth put the counselor on the phone and the counselor said they were unaware of any instructions denying visitation. As of now, the counselor on this new shift still had no idea of the circumstances. The counselor gave the family member the ok to come in to visit. This family member has been to visit this youth prior.

On Monday the supervisor and counselors review the weekend log to read about all of the activity that took place. The counselor who did not document the no-visitation updates to the youths log and why no visitation was allowed saw that the family member came in. Now whose fault is this? The counselor who did not provide communication, the supervisor who did not make sure the counselor provided all the information that was needed before the shift change, or the family member who knew they couldn’t come in but took advantage of the situation because the counselor working had no idea of the situation? This got ugly and the caseworker, police, and lawyers found out and this family member was arrested, the supervisor had a 5 day suspension, and the counselor who forgot to document this was fired.

The result of this was based on insufficient and lack of communication due to neglecting your responsibilities of your job which was ultimately poor decision making that has now led another co-worker not having important details to make a sound and rationale decision. In this type of situation a solution on how to prevent this to occur needs to be figured out.

The juvenile facility needs to develop a process to guarantee all communication is documented properly. The managers cannot identify this process alone they will need to rely on communication from the entire staff in order to make effective decisions. Verbal communication is connoted as the way of deploying the use of words in passing a particular message to the intended receiver (Bodie, 2010). Encouraging staff to speak up about concerns by providing feedback in a positive and productive way can help to make decisions that result in the improvement of the facility.

Here are some topics that could be discussed on how to prevent this from happening again: • the problem, issue or need for improvement

• possible solutions

• alternatives and consequences

• strengths and weakness

Thanks Tammy

Resource:

Bodie, G. D. (2010). A racing heart, rattling knees, and ruminative thoughts: Defining, explaining, and treating public speaking anxiety. Communication Education, 59(1), 70–105. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.