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ISSN 0840-982X

VOLUME 2 NUMBER 4


CONTENTS

v Information for Authors

vii Editorial

x In this Issue


1 Relationships: A wide angle perspective
Penny A. Parry

Abstract: This paper reconceptualizes the role of "relationship" as it applies to current child care practice. The nature and range of influential relationships available to child care practitioners, e.g., therapeutic (worker/family) and social action (worker/political community) are outlined. The degree to which these relationships form the basis of child care practice is discussed. The author argues that it is time for the child care profession to acknowledge and act upon an expanding sphere of relevant relationships
 

11 Family matters: An emergent agenda for youth care practice
James Whittaker

Abstract: The growing importance of an ecological perspective in child, youth and family services is underscored by recent research outcome evaluation and human development. New horizons for child and youth care workers extend to families, schools, neighbourhoods, and other sectors of the community.
 

27 Thérapie de groupe auprès d'adolescents délinquants
Francios Gauthier

Abstract: This article shows the evolution of a group psychotherapy of juvenile delinquents, in a secluded readaptation center. First, the milieu, the clientele, and the conceptual and methodological model on which it lies are presented. In conclusion, the experience leads to the structuration itself of the delinquent personality where speech and silence, life and death, evolve side by side.

41 Relationship issues inn the development of a preadolescent
Sexuality program in residential treatment
Liz Pusztai and Leigh Johnston

Abstract: Childhood sexuality is an issue that needs to be actively dealt with in the treatment programming of a residential care unit. Factors to be considered in program development include the backgrounds of both child and child care worker, the realities of group living, individual value systems and the discomfort associated with sexuality. Building an environment that focuses on healthy, growth-orientated relationships and ensures that sexuality is a positive aspect of childhood development is the topic of this article.

49 Teaching and training as a facet of supervision of care staff: An Overview
Henry Maier

Abstract: Supervision is a pro-active effort with a focus upon the child care workers mastery of what to know and to do rather than what "to be." The supervisors have delineated for themselves when supervision involves helping workers to hurdle new difficult interventive situations and instances when they are training their staff to enrich their capabilities. The latter implies professional competence development with fundamental shifts and a transformation to new levels of comprehension and professional care work (second order change), as distinguished from staff's step-by-step incremental learning (first order change) reflected in their daily spontaneous care activities
 

53 Relationships among child care professionals: A model of collaborative supervision
Richard Goldman and Abbey Manburg

Abstract: In this article the authors discuss the isolation of child care workers and its effect on practice and professionalization. Clinical supervision, a collaborative approach to on-the-job support of the child care worker, is proposed as one response to the problem. Three models of clinical supervision are presented along with a comparison of their relative strengths and weaknesses in a variety of settings.

61 Art therapy on a residential treatment team for troubled children
Anne Mills

Abstract: This article describes some of the ways an emotionally disturbed child can benefit from art therapy. examples are given from the cases and art work of six preadolescents children. Brief introductions to art therapy and some major concepts of this field are given. The relationship between the child care worker and the art therapist is considered, and, in closing, the value of an art therapy program to an institution is outlined.

73 An International Exchange program: Self-esteem building and relationship mdvelopment for youth and staff
Norman Powell and Tony Maciocia

Abstract: Troubled youth can manage, and benefit from, short intensive relationship-centred experiences. This article reports on an innovative staff and client exchange program involving groups from Montreal, Quebec and Washington, D.C. Such experiences, as well as enhancing the youths' cultural awareness and self-esteem, provide exciting staff-development opportunities.

81 Child Care Commentary
      Reality Therapy Turned Inside Out
      A commentary on making the transition from "control therapy" to child care practice
Bruce Gray

Abstract: This article looks at aspects of William Glassner's new orientation as represented in his most recent book. The author reviews a specific example of the application of some of the newer principles and argues that, with creative translation to the field of child care, this new direction may help to solve some of the child-caring crises with which child care workers are frequently faced.

87 Reviews

91 Association News


EDITORIAL


Gerry Fewster

Thom Garfat

Chris Bagley

Relationships are both the core and the essence of child care. The position. attention, and value given to relationships in child care, is one of the characteristics by which child care as a profession distinguishes itself from other helping professions.

Other helping professions acknowledge the therapeutic, or counter-therapeutic. benefit of the ‘relationship’’ in the helping exchange. Child care, on thc other hand, rather than just acknowledging the utilization potential of the relationship, is a form of intervention in which the evolution of the relationship is the primary vehicle of change. Thus, relationships (or their evolution) are the core of child care.

Of all the professions in which one individual intervenes into the life-events 01 others, child care is, for the interventionists, perhaps the most provocative. For the child care worker, there are no spaces between clients, no relaxing breaks for lunch, and few opportunities to pause between responsibilities. The moments 01 the day are full. And they are full with the twists and turns, the pushes and pulls. the ups and downs, and the mysteries of relationships with other people. In the most intense form of child care, the child care workers live from moment to moment, from relationship to relationship, from level to level, and from self to other. The moving and blending, the shifting and changing of relationships fills the air. Thus are relationships the essence of child care.

Yet, this very variable, which is both the core and the essence of child care, seems to be on the edge of oblivion. Technology advances upon us.

Child care began its evolution with ‘‘caring." The hallmark of this caring was the establishment of a caring relationship between the care-giver and the client. We had no sophisticated processes, no articulated orientations, no distinct systems of classifications, and no tools for measuring outcome effectiveness. Because we lacked the language to adequately describe the processes we went through in child-caring interactions, when we were put on the spot to explain what it is that we did, our answers tended to be vague, liberal, notoriously abstract, and filled with references to the characteristics or quality of the relationship between the care-giver and the client. Through exploring and analyzing the quality of this relationship, we were able to gauge the progress of the youth in care. Because we had no way to describe the processes, the world looked upon us as care-takers, rather than professional care-givers. Because there was no other profession quite like child care in terms of the intensity of daily interaction with the clients, it was hard for others to understand just what was going on in the child care/client relationship. Those who had the direct experience understood. To the outsider, it was a mystery.

This inability to articulate exactly what we were doing fed into our lack of self-respect, and child care realized that in order to attain professional credibility it must be able to articulate what it does and why. Thus we set out to articulate the processes, plans, and interactions of the child care style of intervention. In order to gain professional acceptance, we had to establish professional credibility. In order to establish professional credibility, we had to show that we could not only articulate what we do, but also demonstrate how it is different from other professions. Child care work set off in search of its own technology. And we have begun to find it.

At first, child care work defined itself in terms, phrases, and processes stolen or borrowed from other helping professions. We tried to define ourselves in the language of non-child care professions. This didn’t prove adequate.

Then, we tried to define ourselves as not-other. Like a young adolescent, we described ourselves in "I am not you" phraseology. This too proved unacceptable. Finally, like all persons and systems going through a process of change, we turned our examination upon ourselves and began to define ourselves, and what we do, from within. We borrowed where it was appropriate, we modified where it was necessary, and we created where it did not exist. It is now easier for us to talk about what child care is, and to define what child care workers do.

But this thing called relationship continued to sit on the sidelines awaiting child care definition. And the definition has recently begun to evolve clearly. But we must learn a lesson from our previous experience and not repeat our earlier mistakes. If we use, again, the language of other professions to attempt to describe the child care relationship. we will lose its essence. If we revert only to the description of the behaviors involved in relationship establishment and maintenance, we will focus too clearly on the technology and the child care relationship will lose its essence. We need a definition of relationship that captures the magic of child care. For without this magic. child care will be "just another helping profession.’’

Child care is an art in an age of science. An age of science demands the dissection, definition, and explanation of all things. If we succumb to the pressures of a scientific age, we will forfeit the core and essence of child care. We must stand firm against the onslaught of demands of technology and be proud that we are part of a profession which is an art rather than a science.


IN THIS ISSUE

This issue of the Journal of child Care arose directly out of the Fourth National Child Care Workers’ Conference, held in Montreal, Canada in November of 1984. The theme of that conference was "Entre-Nous" (Between Us): An Exploration of Relationship Issues Between Professionals, Families, and Youth in Trouble. The theme of this issue is consistent with the theme of the conference. It consists of papers and presentations prepared for that conference or in keeping with the conference theme.

As Parry points out in her article on relationships in child care, the range of relationships available to the child care worker and the child care profession extend far beyond the classical youth/worker relationship. She argues well for the need to invest energy in the development of our relationship capacity in new and diverse areas ranging from families to the political community.

Whittaker, in a transcript of a presentation made at the National Conference, supports the concept of expanding the range of child care relationships, by pointing out that with the change in residential populations, child care workers will need to expand their roles into other areas specifically, the family and the community.

In keeping with our awareness of the possible benefit which will arise for the development of child care through the establishment of relationships between the French and English child care bodies of knowledge, we are pleased to present our first French article. In it, Gauthier presents an orientation toward group psychotherapy with delinquent adolescents in a secure residential treatment setting in Montreal, Quebec. His focus on the relationships between residents undergoing the group therapy experience reminds us clearly of the role of the educateur in facilitating relationship development among residents for therapeutic purposes.

Relationships between residents and between residents and staff fluctuate depending upon the issues which are central to the relationship at the time and with the degree of comfort the staff experience with the relationship content. In a practical child care article, Puszrai and Johnston address some of the more human and personal relationship variables involved in developing a sexuality program for pre-adolescents in residential treatment. It offers us a too infrequent inside view into one of the more controversial areas of working with younger children. Some of the issues raised should prove provocative to those working with children in residential programs.

In thinking about the relationships between residents, between staff and residents, and between staff, it follows naturally that we should concern ourselves as well with the relationships between the child care worker and their supervisors. In a succinct article. Maier arcues that the focus of the supervisory relationship should be on the child care worker’s mastery of what to know and do rather than the time-honoured tradition of what to be and what not to do. The supervisors who chooses to accept his recommendations will undoubtedly experience a dramatic shift in the focus and intention of their relationships with those they supervise.

Those who accept the idea that the supervisory relationship should focus on how to do things will also enjoy the article by Goldman and Manberg. While focusing on the relationship variables of collaboration, mutual support, and assistance, they offer a behaviourally-focused orientation toward the supervision of child care workers. At the same time, they offer some practical suggestions for methods of supervision which can help to expand the supervisory relationship beyond the traditional hierarchical one.

All child care workers working with children in groups invariably have the experience of working with professionals from other professional orientations. Mills, in her article on the use and value of art therapy as an adjunct to residential treatment, raises some interesting points about the relationship between residents, the art therapist, the art product and the child care team. While her article is focused on the use of art therapy, many of her comments are generalizable to the child care team’s relationships with other professionals.

One of the unique characteristics of child care is the number of interesting opportunities and experiences which can be created by a motivated staff group, in order to enhance therapeutic effectiveness. In the article by Powell and Maciocia, we are offered a report on one of those opportunities. In describing a unique exchange program which occurred between staff and residents of group homes in Washington, D.C. and Montreal, Quebec, we are pointedly reminded that groups of youngsters who have histories of unsatisfactory relationships are very often able to have successful relationship experiences if they are properly guided and structured.

Finally, in Child Care Commentary, Gray takes a unique and creative look at Glasser’s new work from a child care perspective and finds some of the concept translatable into daily child care practice. He argues effectively that it is useful for the child care worker to be able to relate to the pictures in a client’s head.

The Fourth National Child Care Workers’ Conference clearly demonstrates that there is a wealth of information and knowledge about child care relationships available to the field. This issue of the Journal offers some of that knowledge and information in the hope that it will promote further expansion of this essential component of the profession of child care.

Thanks must be given to the Youth Horizons Reception Centre for hosting the conference and to Louise Huot and Therese Gauthier for the time and energy they have expanded in helping to make this important information available to the field.

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