(Dis)abilities? Wellness, children and young people, and the church
In April, SSCM held its first training day conference for children’s and youth workers. It focused on issues faced by children and young people with physical and mental health needs and disabilities.
The day gave insight into Scottish government policy, particularly GIRFEC (Getting It Right For Every Child) and how this applies to church activity, and considered how to offer a more welcoming, connected and inclusive church.
Educational psychologist Fiona Williams explored the wellbeing of young people in Scotland, focusing on external factors which contribute to their exclusion from society. Fiona then considered the psychological issues which face young people, discussing the importance of developing resilience. The church has clear opportunities to contribute to friendships, positive values, and other factors that improve the mental wellbeing of young people by taking an interest in their lives.
Later, we were led in worship by Matthew Goode, a blind teenager with cerebral palsy. With the help of his family, Matthew demonstrated multi-sensory worship in a truly unique way.
The day was very informative and encouraging for leaders who were looking to improve the accessibility and acceptance of young people and children with additional support needs.