S N Darsini Naidu is a Lead Mentor at HCSA Community Services, where she cares for teenage girls at a residential treatment centre. Living by the quote – “All is Well” – she plays an essential role in the healing journey of her young clients.
Ensuring overall well-being
Darsini believes that everyone has an innate need to help others and that by working in social service, this need is met. She started her own journey in social service inspired by her family of teachers and works at HCSA Dayspring Residential Treatment Centre (DRTC), a programme under HCSA Community Services – where she was previously a Senior Therapeutic Care Worker and Youth Mentor and has since progressed to become a Lead Mentor. Darsini looks after teenage girls who have gone through distress. “My duty is to take care of the residents’ overall well-being covering emotional, spiritual, mental, educational and social aspects. I aid them in handling day-to-day matters and in responding to any conflicts, promoting discipline and teaching via role-modelling. The residential treatment centre also facilitates many activities ranging from therapeutic groups to recreational activities that enhance social skills and emotional regulation,” she says. Ex-residents who have graduated, often tell Darsini and her colleagues how much they appreciate them and are thankful for the countless efforts. “I do what I do to positively impact others around me, and always remind my clients that things will eventually be all right,” she adds.
Tackling tasks with collaboration
Overseeing the well-being of every single teenager at the residential treatment centre requires many professionals working hard behind the scenes. “Working in direct care, you need the support of your colleagues. There are at least two mentors present during each shift. We work together to ensure that the needs of the clients are met, programmes are carried out in a timely manner, operational tasks are completed, crisis situations are resolved and more. In addition, when there are case conferences and meetings, as a senior staff member I have to collaborate with caseworkers and psychologists to carry out interventions and provide input for a more comprehensive treatment plan,” Darsini reveals. Being a team leader, she is thankful for her team members who are able to respond efficiently and understand each other, especially during crisis situations.
Growing day by day
In guiding her clients over the years, Darsini claims that she has learnt a lot from them too. “Being able to educate and mentor the next generation of leaders is very rewarding. I get to enhance my own therapeutic abilities while also journeying with my clients as they find themselves. Hearing about their experiences has taught me about resilience as well. I believe that I have grown as a person. Moreover, I am always updated with the latest teenage trends. It makes me feel very youthful!” she shares. Having been pursuing a part-time degree in Counselling along with her work, Darsini plans to become a full-fledged Counsellor in the coming years, taking her passion for making a difference further.
A role in youth work one of many in Social Service. To find out more, read about a career in youth work..