Presentation on theme: "Preparing Child and Youth Care Practitioners: The Experience of the School of Child and Youth Care (SCYC) at the University of Victoria (UVic), British."— Presentation transcript:
1 Preparing Child and Youth Care Practitioners: The Experience of the School of Child and Youth Care (SCYC) at the University of Victoria (UVic), British Columbia, CanadaPresented by Dr. James AnglinProfessor and former Director, SCYCUniversity of Victoria, BC, Canada
3 Pestalozzi Children’s Village, Trogen, Switzerland “Let us build a world in which children can live” – Robert CortiPestalozzi Children’s Village, Trogen, Switzerland
4 Internationally, Child and Youth Care has many names Social pedagogue (in much of Europe)Éducateur, or Éducateur Spécialisé (France and Québec)Travailleur Sociale (Belgium)Erzieher (Germany)Residential social worker (UK)Operatore (Italy)Social educator and psychoéducation (Québec)and many more local variations (e.g. resi workers in Australia)And in Brazil? (‘criança e cuidados juventude trabalhador?’)
6 The Essence of Child and Youth Care (adapted from Ferguson and Anglin, 1985) 1. Child and youth care is primarily focussed on the growth and development of children and youth. While families, communities and organizations are important concerns for child and youth care professionals, these are viewed largely as contexts for the care of children.
7 2. Child and youth care is concerned with the totality of child development and functioning. The focus is on persons living through a certain portion of the human life cycle, rather than with one facet of functioning as is characteristic of most other human service disciplines.
8 3. Child and youth care has developed with a model of social competence, rather than in a pathology-based orientation to child development.
9 4. Child and youth care has evolved from (but is not now restricted to) direct day- to-day work with children and youth in their environment (lifespace). Unlike many other professions, child and youth care practitioners do not operate in a single setting or on an interview or session-oriented basis.
10 5. Child and youth care involves the development of therapeutic relationships with children and their families, and other informal and formal helpers. The development of such therapeutic relationships requires an integration of a complex constellation of knowledge, skills and elements of self.
11 6. Child and youth care involves the child and youth care worker in a moral and spiritual journey of self-discovery. We are impelled on this journey by our relationships with children and families, who are often dealing with deep and profound psycho-emotional pain.
12 While other professions and professionals share some of these characteristics, it is the fact that this cluster of characteristics is at the heart and soul of child and youth care, and is the primary focus for all members of the profession that makes this profession unique and valuable.
13 The first Bachelor’s level program in Canada was developed in 1971 at the University of Montréal in Québec, and drew on various traditions from Europe and North America to form the School of Psychoéducation. The SCYC at UVic was founded in 1973, the first child and youth care program at the university level in English-speaking Canada.
14 Gilles GendreauFirst trained éducateur in Canada; in France in Co-founder of psychoéducation, collaborator with Dr. Jeanine Guindon, University of Montréal
15 The original focus and intent of SCYC at UVic was to educate CYCs for front-line positions in various forms of residential care for children and youth (e.g. juvenile corrections, centres for learning disabilities, child welfare group homes, mental health centres etc.) By 1979, when I joined the School, the Government of BC started to close down many of the larger institutions and began to develop Family Support Worker positions in Ministry Child Protection offices.
16 Therefore, we developed a course on family work (based in part on Minuchin’s structural family systems approach), and began to orient our curriculum towards a much broader spectrum of settings and roles. In a short time, our graduates were being hired in schools (as Youth and Family Counselors), hospitals (as Child Life Specialists), as well as Family Support Workers (FSWs) in government child welfare offices.
17 Today, just over 40 years later, graduates with our Bachelor in Child and Youth Care (BCYC) degree are employed just about anywhere children and youth can be found, including serving as government Child Protection Workers, as advocates with our BC Representative for Children and Youth (who reports directly to the Provincial Legislature), and in private practice working with families.
18 We also offer Master’s and Doctoral degrees in child and youth care, providing leaders in many sectors of the field, including practice, research, policy development and higher education (college and university instructors/faculty members) across the country.
19 Our undergraduate (BCYC) curriculum has evolved significantly over the years, reflecting changes and developments in our field (provincially, nationally and internationally) and in thinking and research in allied disciplines (such as psychology, early childhood development, youth justice, mental health, complexity theory, brain research, etc.)
20 All of these need to be integrated in praxis KSS Model of Professional DevelopmentKnowledge (knowing)Skills (doing)Self (being)All of these need to be integrated in praxis
21 We need to be self-aware of our beliefs, values and ethics Knowledge -> P <- Beliefs (what I hold to be true) R Skills -> A <- Values (what I hold to be good) X Self -> I <- Ethics (what I hold to be right) S
24 Some key dimensions of the curriculum include: Theories that inform CYC practiceGeneric CYC practice-related knowledge, skills and aspects of self developmentCore values and principlesSpecialized knowledge and skill
25 Theories include:Child and youth developmentPlanned change (individual and social)Bio-social-ecological (e.g. Bronfenbrenner)Systems (including family systems)Critical theoryInterpersonal communicationRelationship developmentTraumaSpecialized: disabilities, substance abuse, social justice, mental health, Indigenous cultures, diversity, etc.
26 Generic CYC Practice-related skills include: Fundamentals of attachment and relationship buildingWorking in the life-spaceResponsive and relational practice (as opposed to reactive and coercive)Use of self in-the-momentDoing with, not for, or to othersUse of everyday, ordinary activities for developmental and therapeutic purposes
27 Core Values and Principles (e.g.) Child and youth’s best interestsRelationship-basedFamily-involvedTrauma-informedDevelopmentally-focussedCompetency-basedEcologically-orientedCulturally-responsive
28 Specialized Knowledge and Skill (e.g.) disabilitiessubstance abusejuvenile justicemental healthIndigenous culturesdiversityearly childhood care and developmentchild life (hospital-based CYC)school-based CYCchild protection
29 Four essential elements to creating a “children’s best interests system” An education and career ladder (lattice) system for child and youth care workers with a child’s best interests-focussed curriculum;Agency-based organizational development processes based on developmental and therapeutic principles in the best interests of children and youth;A system-level framework and way of operating in the best interests of children and youth.All of these elements need to strive to be congruent and work in the best interests of each child and youth.
30 In summary…Child and Youth Care is an important profession with a unique role in the human services system.It is important because it is the only professionfocussed primarily on children and youth and their best interests,focussed on all young people ‘at risk’, andacross all social systems and settings.
31 It is:FlexibleAdaptableIn the life-space of the children and youth, and their families and communitiesEngaged with the day-to-day life realities of young people and their social contextPassionately committed to the well-being and best interests of all young people
32 Child and youth care is not rocket science, It’s far more complex than that!