I was at a training day today, looking at how to provide services to parents and families who are ‘hard to reach’. Previously I’ve heard people say that there is no such thing as people who are hard to reach, but I fundamentally disagree, I think that some people are very hard to reach.
They live lives which are almost impenetrable without the aid of a badge or a court order, and as I have neither, and want neither, I am keen to learn ways that I can engage with those who really are hard to reach.
While the seminar didnt provide any easy answers, it did provide some new framework for thought. Unfortunately for me it was mainly aimed at those working within the local authority framework, and I am decidedly third sector, so dont understand all the jargon or acronyms. But I definitely found it helpful to reflect upon what makes people hard to reach, what the barriers are which prevent us from reaching them, and how those barriers might be removed.
Realistically change is a generational thing. Where we are living and working now, the change must begin with the current generation, and filter down in the form of changed patterns of behaviour, and different outlooks on life, to the next generation.
It’s a long road that’s ahead of us, and its not without its difficulties, but I can see clearly that to see change tomorrow, we must reach the hard to reach people today.