In October 2015, 2 young people from the Cavan programme, Niamh and Katelyn, along with their Advocates, Ciara and Ann attended a training session in the Dublin office. The training session was to prepare them to sit on the interview panel for prospective Advocates.  The feedback from both Niamh and Katelyn and their Advocates was extremely positive.

In November 2015, Niamh and Katelyn’s training was put into practice when they sat on the interview panel for the new Cavan/Monaghan Advocates, along with myself, Karen Williams, Team Leader for Cavan/Monaghan and a TUSLA representative.  From my prospective, as Team Leader, I was so impressed with the professionalism that both Katelyn and Niamh displayed throughout the process. This was the first time we have used young people on the interview panel in this area, I look forward to and welcome the next set of young people to be trained and participate in the recruitment process.

KAREN (Team Leader Cavan/Monaghan)

Below are testimonials from the young people, Advocates and TUSLA representative about the process:

I started off very nervous at the training but my Advocate explained what was going to happen and I calmed down.  It was interesting and good fun to meet lots of different people in Dublin. I did enjoy the day and sitting in on an interview was great experience.  I now know how interviews work and it will help me to have better interviews when I leave school because I know what interviewers are looking for.  My opinion counted with Karen and I was asked “Would you feel comfortable working with this person as your Advocate?” and other questions to help me make my decisions. It was nice to give my opinion and feel it counted.  We had a lovely day and I would love to do it again.  It was a great experience.

KATELYN (aged 13)

I really enjoyed my interviewing experience. It was great craic meeting new people from all over Ireland at the training day in Dublin. It was interesting to see how interviews worked and I enjoyed practicing with the advocates. I wasn’t nervous on the day of the interviews because of all the practice we did in training. It felt like Karen listened to what I had to say when it came to choosing who was successful.

NIAMH (aged 16)

The training in Dublin was very interesting for both Advocates and young people. We learned loads in a fun environment. We met other Advocates and young people from all over Ireland. We worked in groups and shared our opinions. It was good to see my young person getting involved. The course was designed in a relaxed way that increased her confidence. Sitting in on the interview panel was a great boost for her self-esteem. She had an input and her opinion mattered. I would strongly recommend any young person to get involved. It is a great experience.

ANN (Advocate)

I think the interviewing process involving the young people was very positive and a great success. I felt the training day in Dublin was brilliant. It was great for the young people to meet others from around Ireland to integrate and work with each other for the day. It was a great way to boost each young persons confidence and self esteem and make them feel included, involved and that their opinion mattered. It was great fun and I would definitely recommend any young person to get involved.

CIARA (Advocate)

I was so impressed with Niamh and Katelyn particularly when they gave their feedback which was both valid and insightful.  The girls both seemed very well prepared which leads me to believe that the training they attended was very thorough.  I think it’s a credit to YAP that the voices of the young people were heard throughout the whole process.