Dominique Leauga is 1 of 4 Kaitohutohu or Personal Advisors at Waitakere Youth Transition Service, Auckland. The Waitakere Youth Transition Service offers services for 15 to 19 year old school leavers in the Waitakere region. Dominique helps between 30 and 50 young people with their transition at any one time, whether they are looking to move into employment, further education, tertiary studies or the equivalent of high school studies. The kaitohutohu work together with the school leavers to help plan out career goals.
Dominique has used the FutureSelves programme for 3 years and says the programme is “awesome” in the first stage of meeting the young person, developing a relationship and looking at options.
Dominique has found FutureSelves to be a very useful tool, especially for those showing ambiguity or who sit on the fence, the ones that generally don’t know what they want to do and have no “buy in” in their career or education. “We find FutureSelves makes for a great starting point for a conversation” says Dominique. Students that come into the centre and want to put 100% into their future but just can?t quite grasp what it is that they want, also benefit from using FutureSelves.
What benefits do the students get out of FutureSelves? They get a lot out of it. Because students are “talking to a computer we get a lot more truthful answers. That was the first thing that I liked about the programme when I started here, especially for those that put up all the blocks when it is time for relationship building. I say – hey, there is this little questionnaire, they complete FutureSelves and it makes for a really good start and brings up points to talk about. It is especially useful when your person is closed up. I see the thinking cap go on; when some of the questions provoke things they wouldn’t normally think about.”
The Waitakere Youth Transition Service can see a young person for 3 days or 3 months to 3 years, depending on the level of support needed. FutureSelves is also great for reassessing halfway through their career plan to see if their perceptions of their future have changed.
Dominique says that we find we get a better percentage for achieving an outcome when we use FutureSelves. “For example I could stick a young person in a car drive around Henderson looking at shops, workshops, factories, service men on road hoping they will find something that they will find they are interested in. OR put them onto FutureSelves and it narrows what they want to do, down. Therefore it saves us time.”
The process Dominique goes through when using FutureSelves starts with the student going through FutureSelves, getting the print out and sitting down and going through the outcomes from the different sections. We use it slightly different amongst our selves. For example, last year I had a few young people with Tourette’s Syndrome and Asperger’s Syndrome. The Aspergers sufferers had problems expressing themselves; this is one of the symptoms of Asperger’s. We found FutureSelves a really good tool to help them communicate their passion, so even though they can’t raise their tone or go yeah! Or get really excited they were showing me their interests. On the graph their answers were going far right (on the FutureSelves chart Likelihood = Very Likely) but their voice and their body language wasn’t in line with that, but if you read the chart he was telling you that he’s really excited. In this case he was trying to tell me that computing was number one for him, he loves computers. This boy “is now at Techtorium in Auckland completing his diploma and FutureSelves is part of that story.”
Would you have known that his interest was computing without FutureSelves? With Asperger’s everything sounds the same, if you’re not listening properly, so if the person says I like engineering, computing, plumbing it sounds the same to me as there is no expression in there and there might be a break down in the language, or in spoken language they are trying to tell you something and I guess it is set out well enough in FutureSelves for them to get that across.
As a Personal Advisor what benefits do you get out of FS?
You get a lot of good coverage on FutureSelves, yes, we do have a lot of questions here that invites a young person to disclose information about interests and so forth, and however, I find greater coverage on FutureSelves. It is less hit and miss, a lower miss rate, so I could sit down for half an hour and try and pull everything out of a young person’s head or I could sit down on FutureSelves for 10 minutes and have a better coverage.
What is the Business Value to Waitakere Youth Transition Service? Time is money and rapport-building takes time. Career planning takes time, business wise FutureSelves saves us a lot of time and gets straight to the point, especially with rapport building, career planning, and goal setting. It’s a great tool, it saves us time and that saves us money.