Rachel Cunningham, Youth Case Management Service, The Caretakers
Q. What year did you join Focus Ireland & what service/department?
A. I joined Focus Ireland in 2015, I started off in the Coffee Shop in Temple Bar, since then I have worked in Grange Lodge under 18’s residential, the Family Case Management team, Housing First and now I am with the Youth Case Management service.
Q. What does your job normally entail?
A. My job entails providing intensive case management support to young adults aged 18-26, this can be anything from helping them access health supports and services, education, employment and supporting them with moving on from homeless accommodation.
Q. How has your job changed during the public health crisis?
A. Most of my role is carried through face to face contact, we are now providing support and advice over the phone. We have based ourselves up in Caretakers Hostel, usually Caretakers closes at 10am, so we have come together with the Caretakers Team to support the service being open 24 hours for the residents, so that they have somewhere safe to spend their days during lock down as there is nowhere open for them.
Q. What do you miss about your job most during this time?
A.I miss the freedom of being out and about all the time, my role is flexible to the needs of the individuals I work with, no two days are the same and I am able to provide support in person.
Q. What’s your favourite Focus Ireland memory or experience?
A. My favourite time in Focus Ireland is helping with the Christmas Dinners in the Coffee Shop, it’s always such a great day and an opportunity to catch up with some of our regular individuals and families we work with.
Q. If you had to give your 18-year-old self some advice, what would it be?
A. Travel and see as much of the world before the year 2020!