Matthew Gordon, CEO and Founder of Spectra
Matthew Gordon is the CEO and Founder of Spectra, the delivery partner for the Care Leavers Covenant.
“Wider society has a role to play in supporting our young people to thrive. That is the central premise of the covenant. That is not just the state’s responsibility but the wider society has a role in nurturing, fostering and enabling.”
"I had come into the social care space in earnest in 2014, and I was amazed at some of the lack of empathy that existed for our young people.
How our young people are nurtured at home is integral to their positive outcomes.
If we turn our attention to our young people who are in care? What is that home environment like? What is the ambition like? What is the vision for that young person? And do we have a vision? Can we honestly say that for some of those individuals coming from lower economic backgrounds? Do we have a vision that they couldn't be anything that they want to be in terms of their professional trajectory? And if we do have that vision, are we facilitating that ambition? And are we cheerleaders for those young people?
Young people in long term foster care are significantly better than those who are in residential care who have had multiple moves.
For 5 years, we refused to use agency staff because its about trust. Our young people need to feel safe and secure.
Peter Bazalgette’s book Empathy Instinct talks about how we do cognitively understand empathy and emotional empathy. It's that psychic transition that allows us to say, I will do that shift, even though I've worked 10 hours already or 12 hours already, I would rather work that shift than my young person being introduced to a complete stranger. And I think that's the psychic transition that is fundamental for improving outcomes.
And this person, young man was having a meltdown before my eyes. And that emotional empathy kicked in. And I said, Do you need a hug? And you know, with all of the snot and tears, he nodded his head and came in for the hug. And I'm glad that I did it.