Naseem Tariq: Sharing my experience of shadowing a WY-FI Navigator
“I have been in post as a Senior WY-FI ETE worker (Touchstone), at the Dewsbury office for nearly a month now; I loved the word my manager used for my induction which was “drip feed”. I certainly needed this, not due to a lack of past knowledge and experience but to be able to really understand what WY-FI is about. As part of my induction period I spent a day shadowing Carla who is the navigator from BARCA.
This was an opportunity for both me and Carla to share best practice and to observe what the navigators do on a daily basis. The experience bought back many memories from the past as a housing support worker.
I found this to be an excellent networking tool and beneficial in facilitating the break down of any internal barriers across the working environment. It also can improve communication across departments, faculties and sites. Shadowing also allows individuals to view the processes they are involved in from a different angle.
I was looking to gain a greater understanding of what a Navigator’s job role actually consists of, which no doubt has its ups and downs but can be very rewarding after accomplishment; this is what I witnessed with Carla. After finishing off the day I could see the satisfaction on Carla’s face, it had been a very productive day!
Supporting someone with complex needs is very challenging. Navigators have to build consistent, positive and trusting relationships. A personalised approach which addresses the full approach of beneficiary’s needs and is culturally sensitive to particular needs of specific groups including women and people of black and minority ethnic backgrounds. They support beneficiaries to recognise and develop personal strengths and links with other services in an attempt to coordinate continuity in care during key transitions.
If a service cannot provide support, they take responsibility for connecting the beneficiary with someone who can. A flexible approach to support and the ability to react quickly in crisis is a skill in its self.
I would like to take this opportunity to say well done to all the navigators for doing a great job and to keep up the good work. Carla thanked me for giving her the opportunity to share her experiences and gave her the chance to review and reflect on her own area of work. Carla also thanked me for the insight on some culturally sensitive issues which will help her support her beneficiaries more effectively.
What I took away from that day was the calmness and empathy Carla presented throughout the day. Carla achieved her objective in ensuring her beneficiaries support needs were met for that session. I would highly recommend that any newcomers be given the opportunity to be involved in a shadowing experience; it is a different ball of game in reality and very beneficial.
I am now confident the ETE and Navigator teams can work more positively together and understand the strengths and weaknesses of each team member. When a team is able to work well together they accomplish more than individuals can do alone.
On this note I would recommend to organise a team building session in the very near future. This would be beneficial in promoting broader learning about each others different processes and approaches.”
Touchstone Senior WY-FI ETE Worker