Internal Support in QCYF Protocol

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This page is specific to QueerCare Youth Folk (QCYF) which is the autonomous group inside QueerCare made up of people aged 13-19.

This protocol is under review, and has not been accepted.

We are currently gathering feedback and editing this protocol, and there may be errors or bad wording. Please only use this protocol with caution, and if other organisations have definitive protocol, use that instead.

Please see #protocols on Slack to discuss this protocol further.

This is the protocol describing the internal support structures in place for people working and organising in QueerCare Young Folk (QCYF).

This protocol should be reviewed and amended at least once every three months.

Last reviewed: 2nd February 2021 Next review: W/c 3rd May 2021

QCYF Principles

Everyone joining QCYF agrees to work using the QueerCare Young Folk Principles. These are on a living document that is regularly reviewed and adapted.

Zooms

Structure

We have one zoom a week, following a monthly schedule of:

  • Week 1: Care Debrief
  • Week 2: General Meeting
  • Week 3: Care Debrief
  • Week 4: Skillshare

Care Debriefs

QCYF fortnightly care debriefs are for people aged 13-19 only. They are facilitated by older teenagers with care experience.

Young people aged 18-19 also have the option of attending general care debriefs with the rest of QC. People from QCYF who attend general care debriefs will feed back anything relevant from QCYF care debriefs to the general ones, and vice versa.

General Meetings

On the second week of each month QCYF has a general meeting to discuss internal support (including safeguarding), admin, training & anything else that is not care-debrief-shaped. At the beginning of these there is an optional half hour slot that people can attend to play online games and quizzes.

Skillshares

On the fourth week of each month QCYF has a skillshare.

Skillshares can be on any topic. They can be led by someone in QCYF, someone aged 20+ in QC or someone external. Discussions in QCYF care debriefs and general meetings will inform what each skillshare will cover. Some examples of things skillshares can cover are:

  • In-depth training on specific kinds of care or advocacy, eg. reality care or MCA advocacy.
  • Managing care more generally, eg. balancing care and education.
  • Political education, eg. learning about Mad Rights or Disability Justice movements.

Buddying

General Buddies

Everyone in QCYF has a general buddy who is another young person in QCYF. This system is reviewed at every general meeting. If you are in QCYF and don't have a general buddy, please fill out this form.

Skillsharing Buddies

When new people join QCYF they will be put into buddy groups with an already established QCYF buddy pair, to help break down barriers to getting involved and allow for more effective skillsharing. These groups will be based on the buddy groups established during training.

Buddies for Care and Advocacy

As set out in the Buddying Protocol, everyone doing care and advocacy is strongly encouraged to always work with buddies, or with 'no PII' buddies where buddying using another format is not possible.

QCYF has its own care and advocacy dispatch Signal chats, which are separate to those used by those aged 20+ in QC. Currently, these are:

  • QCYF care and advocacy dispatch (London) - Dispatch for in-person buddying in London.
  • QCYF virtual buddying - Dispatch for virtual 'no-PII' buddies.

These chats are used as set out in the Buddying Protocol. Those living outside London are encouraged to set up a dispatch and buddying chat for their area. If you wish to join either of these chats, please send a message in the Slack channel #young-folk-general, or DM Anya, Finn, Tamar, Willow or Snap.

As set out in Policies for Safeguarding Children and Young People:

  • People aged 13-17 must not do care or advocacy through QC for people aged 20+.
  • People aged 13-15 must not do care or advocacy through QC for people aged 18-19.
  • People aged 20+ must not buddy with people aged 13-17 for care or advocacy other than in specific situations where it is necessary, and in these situations, buddy groups should be at least three people - ideally, more than one adult and more than one young person or if this is not possible, two young people and the adult.
  • People aged 18-19 should generally not buddy for care or advocacy with people aged 13-17 unless this is unavoidable or necessary.
  • People aged 18-19 who are moving to doing care or advocacy for people aged 20+ must be buddied by someone at least a few years older who has experience in care work, especially in care situations where age-related harm towards carers is a possibility.

Buddies for Protest First Aid

Currently, there are QC Protest First Aid groups in London and Manchester. As set out in Policies for Safeguarding Children and Young People:

  • People aged 13+ can attend Protest First Aid training and attend protests as QueerCare First Aiders.
  • When buddies are being sorted out for First Aid work at protests it must not be assumed that young people are comfortable being buddied with people aged 20+. Those arranging buddies should ask young people if they would prefer to be buddied with another teenager.

Buddies for Other Work

Buddies for all other QCYF work are encouraged. Action points should be given to several people who will work on each task together, rather than one person by themselves.

Training

QCYF aims to run online training courses that bring people into the organisation twice a year. Each time some of the course facilitators should be people who have not facilitated a QCYF training course before, to allow for effective skill-sharing.

Self-to-Self Debriefs

Everyone doing care and/or advocacy in QCYF is strongly encouraged to regularly (eg. once a week or once a month) self-to-self debrief. A template for doing this can be found in Protocol for Doing a Debrief.

There is an opt-in buddying system for self-to self debriefs. Young people can sign up to have their self-to-self debriefs (PII removed) read over by someone aged 20+ in QC, or by an older teenager in QCYF who has care/advocacy experience. This is to help with problem-solving and to encourage skillsharing. This is an informal and friendly system - there is never any judgement or shame related to any problems that might be discussed in self-to-self debriefs.

If you would like a buddy to review your debriefs, or to volunteer as a buddy to review other people's debriefs, please fill out this form.

Therapy

Everyone doing care, advocacy and/or protest First Aid is eligible to receive therapy expensed to QC. Please see Accessing Therapy Whilst Working in QueerCare Protocol for information on how to access this.

Payment and Expenses

Everyone in QCYF is eligible to both claim expenses and be paid for their labour, as set out in the Claiming Expenses Protocol and Paying People Protocol.