Working with youth and their folks from institutional settings like adolescent homes and prison have shown me numerous important examples that I desire to impart to other professionals today.

International Federation of Social Workers defines social work as a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility, and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities, and indigenous knowledge, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing. The above definition may be amplified at national and/or regional levels.

 International Coaching Federation defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity, and leadership.

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As a coach and social worker, I see the benefit of moving between the frameworks at the large scale level and managing the singular reactions at the miniature level.

Ordinarily, in such a work, we should be completely mindful and agreeable in moving between the various frameworks. Also, I like to depict this work to like a spider that is building a web. As social workers, we should be truly agreeable and patient in moving between the levels, figuring out how to fortify and zero in on specific pieces of the picture by including the specific inputs of our clients as well.

Furthermore, once we are in alignment and in touch with the various systems of our client’s life, we can begin working towards their best hopes and outcomes. What’s more, for this stage, this is the place where I appreciate placing on my cap as a coach where we have the eyes and ears to see how we can journey with our clients to the best forms of themselves.

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To show what I mean by this, I compare our work to the migration of birds over significant distances. Such relocation occurs now and again. During these migrations, we can perceive how the group of birds figure out how to function amongst one another and rotate to lead while the rest draft behind the front pack to save energies and endeavours. Likewise, for our youth client, we want to figure out how to invite the young person to come on board with us. As coaches, we need to figure out how to situate ourselves to such an extent that our clients figure out how to make these strides with us. Furthermore, this process must be rehashed with the other various partners where we move together as one towards a shared outcome, abandoning nobody behind.

So today, whether you are a professional, a parent, a coach or a mentor who is working with such youth clients, trust this will provide you with a picture of what we are called to do. And in the event we feel that what we do is insignificant, I hope to energize you with this statement from Mother Teresa:

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

If you would like me to work with your child or you are looking for professional inputs to your cases, feel free to connect with me at

Keep going. Hold on to the faith!


Coach Joe Chan