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If you have mentioned it at a staff meeting and nothing has changed, I think the time has come to speak to people individually, as Rachael has said.

How do you handle it at the time when you see them sticking together? I think it is also important to adopt the same approach each time - maybe even use the same form of words as you do so.

It is wearying though, to have to keep doing it at every session. Good luck with getting it sorted!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Staff issues can be hard but you will feel stronger having sorted it out and you will find a stronger bond with them. Your team will respect you to standing up to them.

We all are inclined to lean towards our comfort zones, it could be the area that your team congregate in is their comfort so think about how the environment can be used or changed. If the comfort is the activity that is attracting the group why not find different activities to assign individuals too and to follow through with an opportunity to share the experience to the rest of the team.

A further consideration may be that we do like to be sociable during work, do you have social activities outside of work where they can talk with each other. This does not have to be every week, or month, it could be an annual event at Christmas or in the summer.

It is important that you make it known that you are unhappy about the situation and giving the team the opportunity to problem solve it. If you change the format of the staff meeting make it a workshop set questions for discussion such as -

  • how their being together helps to engage playfully with the young people.
  • what message are the young people getting from seeing them together.
  • are they remaining understanding of the young people's needs.
  • how do they feel when they are interrupted by a young person requiring their help/support

I am sure that you can think of a few more questions to add to the list.

Let me know how you get on.


Good Luck

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