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The three perspectives of the child and youth care practice

During the past 40 years, significant advances have been made in understanding and developing professional child and youth care with troubled children. In this article, which first appeared in the Journal of Child and Youth Care, 5.

Child and youth care is about caring and acting — about being there, thinking on your feet, interacting, and growing with children. It is rich, intense, difficult work that requires passion and commitment.

  1. Violent and Aggressive Girls.
  2. Child Care Quarterly, 8 4 , 161-173. Child and Youth Care Quarterly, 18 3 ,
  3. In this article, which first appeared in the Journal of Child and Youth Care, 5.
  4. Institutional Approaches to Child Abuse.

When it goes well, troubled children can make tremendous strides. When it goes poorly, their obstacles may seem almost impossible to overcome. As important as it has always been, however, child and youth care was not well understood or developed in North America until the middle of the century when a few pioneers began studying and writing about it. Since then there have been numerous contributions to the knowledge base from practitioners, teachers, and administrators.

In this paper their work, and the themes that appear to from it will be reviewed. Facilities, independent living programs, foster and natural homes, communities, and street corners. Its roots, however, are in residential treatment.

  1. Child Care Quarterly, 6 3. Roles, skills, and job tasks in professional child care.
  2. The child mental health specialist. The other twenty three hours.
  3. Meanwhile, other pioneers like Myer 1958 , Burmeister 1961 , Trieschman et al.
  4. Mann-Feder, Varda and White, Trish Journal of Special Education, 5 2.

In the 1950's child and youth care advocates began to write about residential treatment as a holistic method that with the proper skill and adequate knowledge of human development could be used to teach, treat, and nurture troubled children.

Techniques for the Treatment of the Aggressive Child, Redl and Wineman 19511957 introduced psychodynamic management techniques and ego support programs for residential care. Redl, a leading pioneer in the professionalization movement, also developed a popular counselling technique called "The Life Space Interview" 1959. Meanwhile, other pioneers like Myer 1958Burmeister 1961Trieschman et al. Others found new ways of applying psychodynamic, human development, sociological, cultural, and social learning theories.

For example, Nicholas Long Long, 1966; Long, et al. Maier 1975, 1979, 1987 identified the components of care and described the important role care and caregiving play in human development for children at home and away from home. Bronfenbrenner 1977, 1979the recognized leader of a major paradigm shift in the science of human development, introduced ecological caregiving and caring human connections.

Vorath and Brendtro 1974 developed a group method of caregiving that is based on sociological concepts. Weaver 1990 urged greater sensitivity to cultural differences and described methods of cross-cultural care.

  • A Journey into Self Fewster, 1990 , which beautifully exemplifies and summarizes the belief that a full understanding of and relationship formation with children can only be achieved through self awareness and discovery Fewster, 1990;
  • Developmental group care for children and youth;
  • With the changes in contemporary child rearing patterns and the rising numbers of poor and dysfunctional families Carman and Small, 1988; FICE, 1988; Mech, 1988 , the need to learn and practice child and youth care is greater than ever before;
  • Stages From An Interactional Perspective Given that the essence of child and youth care practice, and one of the primary factors of the worker's experience, lies in the contextualized interactional relationship between the worker and the young person Fewster, 1990; Garfat,1985 , an approach to understanding development which acknowledges and draws upon the characteristics of that interaction would appear to be most relevant for child and youth care workers;
  • American Journal of Orthopsychiatry;
  • The Role of Initial Contracting.

Several authors advocated for social learning and competency approaches Durkin, 1990; Ferguson and Anglin, 1985; Fox 1990. In a comprehensive textbook, Re-Educating Troubled Youth, Brendtro and Ness, 1983 reviewed major child and youth care developments and practices from historical as well as modern perspectives. Proposals for improving the group care system, child and youth care environments, and curricula for teaching child and youth care work were also developed Ainsworth and Fulcher, 1981; Beker and Feuerstein, in press; Krueger, 1986, 1990; Linton, 1969, 1971; Maier, 1987; McElroy, 1988; Reiger and DeVries, 1974; VanderVen, et al.

Recently, Brendtro et al.

The three perspectives of the child and youth care practice

Authors have also turned to creative writing as a way to describe the rich and intensive nature of the work and to portray the roles of self discovery and personal growth in child and youth care Condit, 1989; Fewster, 1990; Krueger 1987a, 1990.

Developmental care Developmental care has become the central theme in child and youth care practice and in this context Maier's work 1979, 1987 is significant. A collection of his papers, titled Developmental Group Care of Children: Concepts and Practice Maier, 1987is the most comprehensive analysis of care and its applications. In one pivotal paper, The Core of Care: He concludes that child and youth care or caregiving requires sensitivity to and interventions that address: From his work and the work of many of the authors noted above, and others, the three perspectives of the child and youth care practice least eight basic principles appear to have emerged: Care is a central element in building helping relationships; When caregiving and care-receiving are mutual, a nurturing human connection is formed Maier, 1987; Trieschman, 1982 ; The components in the core of care as defined by Maier are essential for the development of children at home and away from home Maier, 1987, pp.

Child and youth care work themes In comparing personal experiences practicing and teaching care over twenty years with the literature, nine additional themes evolved. In the author's opinion, these themes outline key knowledge areas for teaching and learning in child and youth care.

Al Treischman, a renowned leader in this field, once talked about having a "twinkle in your eye" for working with children Treischman, 1982 and workers often talk about a feeling they have in their guts for the work. The message here is clear: Without this feeling, there is not much that can be learned that will be helpful. Being there Troubled children have been psychologically and or physically abandoned throughout their lives and their greatest fear is that they will be abandoned again.

To trust and grow, they need dependable and predictable connections Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Maier, 1987; Krueger and Powell, 1990 — caregivers who they can count on, who are on hand to talk when they are ready, to support them when they are motivated to learn, to encourage them to try again when they fail Krueger, 1988 and to also be there when they are neither ready, motivated, nor interested in a helping hand.

Thus, coming into the field requires a commitment to being there with an understanding of the time it takes for troubled children to begin to trust adults. Teaming up Teamwork is the in thing Garner, 1988. Decisions about how to treat, educate and care for youth require the insight and consensus of all those who are involved in the lives of the children, including child and youth care workers, administrators, consultants, parents, and the children themselves.

Further, these decisions need the mutual support of everyone as they are being implemented. Meeting them where they're at We need to relate to and work with children as developing beings. It is important to remind ourselves that the developmental approach does not permit preoccupation with deviant, pathological, or defective behavior.

When an individual's affect, behavior, and cognition are evaluated as distinct processes, care workers can rely on predictable patterns of development progression instead. Maier and the other developmentalists have shown that troubled children can only respond to self and skill-building interventions that are geared to their emotional, cognitive, social, and physical needs, and that are conducted in a process of care Beker and Feuerstein, in press; Maier, 1987, pp. The goal is to meet them where they are at, with child and youth care interventions Durkin, 1990; Fox, 1990; Juul, 3989; Krueger, 1983; Maier, 1987; Munoz, Savicki and Brown, 1981 that focus on building strengths rather than concentrating on weaknesses.

Child & Youth Care Work

Interacting together "When we do things to youth and not with them, it's not going to work so well" Trieschman, 1982. This requires a nonjudgmental, unconditional caring attitude that is based on valuing and understanding all children as unique individuals who are capable of making their own choices Fewster, 1990.

Caregivers can never consciously allow or give permission to children to do anything physically or emotionally harmful to themselves or others, but their greatest hope has to be that through their teaching, counselling, and nurturing interactions with children, the children will learn and be empowered to make the best choices for themselves Krueger and Powell, 1990.

The three perspectives of the child and youth care practice

Counseling on the go Crises are opportune times for adults to model and teach social and emotional competence. For children under stress we must interpret adult intervention as an act of support and protection rather than hostility.

We must acknowledge and the three perspectives of the child and youth care practice the feelings of children without necessarily accepting the way in which they choose to express them Excerpts from Nicholas Long's principles of the Conflict Cycle as summarized by Powell, 1990, p. Troubled children need counselling at bedtime, during kickball, in the arts room, and during fights and temper tantrums as much as during scheduled office visits; and no matter how tough or aggressive or passive they are at times, the prevailing underlying feelings they experience are anxiety, fear, sadness, and depression Long et al.

With the use of psychodynamic Long et al. Creating circles of care In traditional Native society, it was the duty of all adults to serve as teachers for younger persons. Child rearing was not just the responsibility of biological parents but children were nurtured within a larger circle of significant others. From the earliest days of life, the child experienced a network of caring adults Brendtro et al. In studying the Native American circle of courage, Brendtro, Brokenleg, and Van Bockern 1990 understood the ecology of care.

Today in caregiving, as in most other helping professions, it is widely acknowledged that parents, siblings, relatives, helpers and members of the community are all part of a troubled child's circle of care, and long term change is dependent on making this circle functional again Brendtro et al.

Thus every effort has to be made to conduct care giving interventions in homes and communities, and in harmony with familial Garfat, 1990 communal, cultural Weaver, 1990and interdisciplinary team systems Fulcher, 1981; Garner, 1977, 1982, 1988; Krueger, 1987b; VanderVen, 1979 that are interconnected with a child's development Bronfenbrenner, 1979. Discovering and using self "Charolette was inviting me to consider the idea that self-examination and discovery is a process of observing self in action.

At the broader level this is compatible with the preference for cerebral realms of theory and philosophy to follow experience, rather than vice versa" Fewster, 1990, p. These selected quotes come from conversations between a worker and his supervisor in Being in Child Care: A Journey into Self Fewster, 1990which beautifully exemplifies and summarizes the belief that a full understanding of and relationship formation with children can only be achieved through self awareness and discovery Fewster, 1990.

In child and youth care, workers with the help of supervisors, teammates and teachers have to constantly strive to understand their own feelings and experiences in relationship to how they influence interactions with children and families. Caring for one another "It is inherent that caregivers be nurtured themselves and experience sustained caring support in order to transmit this quality of care to others" Maier, 1987, p.

Child and youth care is difficult and demanding work. To overcome the stress and fatigue, managers, supervisors and practitioners in professional child and youth care organizations have to do everything possible to create a supportive, caring environment for themselves Bieman, 1987; Krueger, 1986a, 1986b, 1987b; Mattingly, 1977 with the awareness that the patterns of care they create for one another are interconnected with the patterns of care they create for the children.

Further, it is the holistic mix of teaching, counselling, and nurturing approaches as summarized above rather than any single approach that makes child and youth care unique from other helping roles. Conclusion The growing knowledge base and the need for care The references in this article are representative of the work of many authors who drew upon both practice experiences and work from related fields such as psychology, special education, social work, human development, and the arts the three perspectives of the child and youth care practice collectively create a rich and exciting knowledge base for a new profession.

A knowledge base, however, is a dynamic entity which is constantly changing and growing and open to interpretation.

This contribution is the result of one effort to summarize and organize the literature at a given point and time. The goals have been to provide an outline for curriculum development and to encourage further investigation. With the changes in contemporary child rearing patterns and the rising numbers of poor and dysfunctional families Carman and Small, 1988; FICE, 1988; Mech, 1988the need to learn and practice child and youth care is greater than ever before. Group Care for Children.

Perspectives in professional child and youth care: Journal of Child and Youth Care. Conceptual foundations for the modifying environment in group care and treatment settings for children and youth. Journal of Child and Youth Care Work. Knowledge utilization in residential child and youth care practice.

Child Welfare League of America Inc. Critical incidents in child care: A case study book. A support group model for child care workers. Journal of Child and Youth Care Work, 3 15-16. Reclaiming youth at risk. The fracturing of the American family.

Washington University Daily, p. The ecology of human development. Permanence and family support. Changing practice in group and child care.

  • The goal is to meet them where they are at, with child and youth care interventions Durkin, ; Fox, ; Juul, ; Krueger, ; Maier, ; Munoz, Savicki and Brown, that focus on building strengths rather than concentrating on weaknesses;
  • Journal of Child Care, 2 3 ,
  • Using Dramatherapy with Teens;
  • In the final stage, Expert, the worker has a fully integrated understanding, can take appropriate action without seeming to consider alternatives and possesses strong theoretical knowledge and analytical skills.

Child Welfare League of America, Inc. Competency, relevance, and empowerment: A case for restructuring childrens' programs. The child care profession: A vision for the future.