The Check & Connect Programme aims to re-engage students who are showing signs of dis-engaging from school. It is an early intervention/prevention programme that supports the student, their whanau and the school, to provide better outcomes for all.
Building and developing longer, meaningful interventions, as opposed to shorter reactive interventions, highlights that through quality relationships; we as workers can create a longer lasting support for our students. The Youth Workers in Secondary Schools (YWiSS) team deliver the Check & Connect Programme in 7 high schools in Auckland. Each youth worker has weekly contact with their young people for a minimum of two years. This long term commitment from the students, whanau and schools, allows the YWiSS team the opportunity to improve their engagement in school, learning and behaviour and health and well-being.
In 2018, twenty students completed their two year journey on the Check and Connect programme. To acknowledge and celebrate their journey, the YWiSS team organised the first ever Check & Connect Graduation Ceremony.
On Friday 25th January 2019, students who had completed the Check & Connect Programme, were invited, along with their families, to the 2018 Check & Connect Graduation Ceremony.
Testimonies were shared by students and families about their journey on our programme and how much it meant to them. We had a testimony from a student who graduated on the night that expressed how grateful she was to the programme. When she first met her youth worker, she reflected on how much temptation there was around for her which made her tempted to “wag class, swear at teachers and fight with other students” and upon reflection of her two years in the programme she had now left the programme with achieving NCEA level 2, school leadership opportunities and a happier outlook on herself and on life. This being the case for many students who come through the programme. The YWiSS team looks at working with disengaged students throughout 7 schools minimising truancy, defiant behaviours and unmotivated wellbeing at the same time maximising student engagement in the classroom, communication between school and home as well as increasing academic achievement.
The Youth Workers in Secondary Schools Team, is made up of staff members from the Anglican Trust for Women and Children (ATWC) and Family Works Northern (FWN). We appreciate their on-going support and we would like to acknowledge the following local businesses who supported our Graduation Ceremony;
– Mangere Countdown
– Point England Bakery
– Evelina’s Polynesian Food
– Warehouse Stationary Manukau
– South Point Countdown