Although the above talk made by Jessica Jackley is not strictly speaking, about child protection, I believe it speaks volume about practice. I was going to write a little about practice frameworks today, and about how our framework influences and informs the way we view our work; the sadness, suffering and the sorts of problems and issues we confront every day, as part of child protection work. However, I remembered this inspirational Ted talk, and decided it would accomplish the same purpose of a framework discussion, in a more uplifting way.
Obviously, Jessica’s talk of money, micro-transactions and entrepreneurship is not a part of child protection practice, however the way she discusses the use of stories to frame the way we see the work we do, and the way that we see people and their problems, certainly does. You might recognize Jessica’s use of strengths based, psycho-social, systemic frameworks for working with poverty, but that is not all she is doing. Her approach is not only about advocating and supporting frameworks for doing the work with clients, she is also speaking to the need to develop frameworks for conceptualizing the way we work as practitioners, for us. She is asking us to have fresh eyes. After-all, our work is not only about helping clients to engage and change, it’s also about how we conceptualize the problems in the first place.
So I am giving you the gift of Jennifer’s great Ted Talk about giving. I absolutely believe that Jessica’s observations about the depth of caring, of wanting to make a difference, of desiring to be of service and to help applies to child protection professionals. In fact, I believe our caring and the desire to make a difference is at the core of why most of us do child protection work. I absolutely agree with Jessica, that being inspired to give, to be of service and to try to make a difference, begins with truly hearing other people’s stories. It is no coincidence, that listening to and gathering other people’s stories is a huge part of child protection work. The next part of our work, and the part we maybe think a lot less about, involves believing: believing in ourselves, in each other, in our capacity to do amazing things in the world, to be instruments that can help to turn stories, into love stories.
I leave it to you to consider how profoundly Jessica’s message fits with our work and the holiday season and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Best wishes for a wonderful holiday!
Fiona McColl – PeakCare Training and Development Manager