CHILD AND YOUTH CARE - THE PROFESSION
North American Child and Youth Care has been developing as a profession. "Characteristic of professions are; a systematic body of theory, professional authority, sanction of the community, a regulative code of ethics and a professional culture" (Greenwood, 1957). North American Child and Youth Care has progressed in these areas. Ethics is the focus of this presentation. The International Child and Youth Care Consortium developed a "Description of the Field" which has become widely adopted (NOCCWA, 1992, p. 83). The profession aims to address, as much as possible, the psychological, social, cultural, spiritual and biological needs of young people and their families. This may occur at different life stages or in a variety of circumstances. In multidisciplinary settings, as in mandated agencies, the profession is central in the care, custody and treatment of youth. Child and Youth Care centers on the client and utilizes skills and techniques which actualize the processes of development and change. It includes the necessary advocacy for youngsters and their families in powerless and often hopeless situations. It captures the root value of "caring" as an underlying factor and force vital in emotional growth, rehabilitation, social competence and treatment. The ethics, norms and knowledge base of Child and Youth Care constitute the professional culture which is a source of identity for all who participate in the profession. The shared symbols and values bring together educators, direct care workers and administrators. Practice and research are articulated and validated in the journals and literature of the profession. The profession's values underlie the mission and management of Child and Youth caring organizations, employers and the professional associations. The development of a North American Code of Ethics for Child and Youth Care is a benchmark for the profession, The Code of Ethics unites the range of professional roles and functions and relates them to common commitments and shared responsibilities. The Code of Ethics establishes a framework to guide thinking and practice for all Child and Youth Care Professionals.
Greenwood, E. (1957). Attributes of a profession, Social Work, 3, 2, pp. 44-55. NOCCWA (1992). The international leadership coalition for professional child and youth care:Milwaukee, 1992, Journal of Child and Youth Care Work, 8, pp. 69-83.
1. This document was adopted by the National Organization of Child Care Worker Associations (NOCCWA) and has been circulated by the Council of Canadian Child and Youth Care Associations. [pic]
CURRENT DESCRIPTION OF THE FIELD
Professional Child and Youth Care Practice focuses on infants, children, and adolescents, both normal and with special needs, within the context of the family, the community, and the life span. The developmental-ecological perspective emphasizes the interaction between persons and their physical and social environments, including cultural and political settings. Professional practitioners promote the optimal development of children, youth, and their families in a variety of settings, such as early care and education, community-based child and youth development programs, parent education and family support, school-based programs, community mental health, group homes, residential centers, day and residential treatment, early intervention, home-based care and treatment, psychiatric centers, rehabilitation programs, pediatric health care, and juvenile justice programs. Child and youth care practice includes assessing client and program needs, designing and implementing programs and planned environments, integrating developmental, preventive, and therapeutic requirements into the life space, contributing to the development of knowledge and practice, and participating in systems interventions through direct care, supervision,...