Staff Stories, December 2020
Mr. Leonard Ma
Senior Youth Worker,
Tell us a typical day as a Senior Youth Worker.
On a typical day, my role as a Senior Youth Worker not only involves the supervision of the boys who stay in Boys’ Town but also to mentor and guide the team of youth workers that form the Therapeutic Group Home unit.
Leading the operations as a Senior Youth Worker, my team and I act as the bridge between the boys under our care and the clinical team to implement a specifically tailored treatment program for each boy and guide the team to provide behavioral intervention techniques specifically tailored to teach our boys healthy coping mechanisms.
Other daily aspects involve helping to identify trauma triggers in the boys' environment, to de-escalating any temper tantrums and dysregulations. In extreme cases, we may have to physically redirect a boy for the safety of himself and the people around him.
How has your journey been working in Boys’ Town for the past 3 years from a Youth Worker to a Senior Youth Worker?
The journey has not been an easy one as we work with clients who present challenging emotional and behavioral patterns. However, I am thankful that I always have a strong team in TGH to provide me all the support I need. The colleagues that I have seen over the years all demonstrate a strong sense of passion and willingness to help our youths. The camaraderie that we have developed motivates me on a daily basis to be the best that I can be.
How has BT supported you in training and development?
As part of the pioneer team at the Therapeutic Group Home unit, Boys’ Town has provided me opportunities to undergo various intensive training programs conducted by the Ministry of Social and Family Development, Social Service Institute and various international consultants. This has equipped me with the necessary knowledge to effectively work with teens with a trauma history and who present emotional and behavioral difficulties.