Predictably, I have lots of questions about this cadet (lets call him Cdt Joe) including age, how long he has been at the squadron, knowledge of home life etc.
My starting point would be to speak to the CO as there could be information that is relevant to Cdt Joe that he/she is empowered to share. If you have any child safeguarding concerns then again raise this with the boss so that he/she can act accordingly.
As per message, it would be easier to correspond with you and your CO directly on this as I have questions and we could fill the forum pages with stuff which might not be appropriate. I’m happy to give you and your boss a steer based on previous experience.
Not knowing all the answers to my questions, here are some words of caution when “trying” to help:
- Unless qualified or steered by someone who is, be very cautious about how help is given and perceived.
- Young people with anxiety issues can become very dependent on you. Despite everyone’s best intentions this can have a very negative impact especially when the dependency is with one individual and they happen to miss a night or worse still, leave.
- Agree a plan with your CO. There could be multiple things going on with Cdt Joe that the boss may know but also he/she can liaise with the parents / guardians. Parental / Guardian involvement is really important as is keeping them up to date with everything. This can also help Cdt Joe as he starts to get a support network going. Granted the home situation could be the whole reason for his anxiety but only the boss can make the call.
- Don’t be in a hurry :-). You can make a positive impact but this takes time.
- Agree some ground rules with your boss and Cdt Joe. This protects you, the organisation and Cdt Joe. An example being, Cdt Joe tells you about something that is going on at home that is abuse. You have promised him that everything is confidential and now you’re torn between betraying trust and notifying the boss.
- Baby steps, baby steps, don’t do too much in a short space of time.
- Finally, improvement of confidence and self-esteem is generally something that comes to cadets quite naturally. Its almost a right of passage and in a lot of cases, individuals improve through their own attendance and being part of the Squadron. “Helping” Cdt Joe needs to be controlled.
Hopefully I’m not putting you off but there is a fine line between making a difference and getting yourself dragged into the situation. You have to constantly remind yourself that Cdt Joe is one of a number of cadets that all deserve time and effort. Granted, it sounds like Cdt Joe needs some propping up for a little bit but please work with your CO and not jump to conclusions.
There’s a lot of negativity in my post, sorry… the fact that you have spotted Cdt Joe is fantastic and I’m sure you and the Squadron will have a positive impact on him. I completely agree with @Cadet04 replies, good sound advice in my opinion.
Contact me again when you have spoken to your boss and good luck with the exams.