Philosophy and principles of Child and Youth Care
A checklist of basic beliefs compiled by Vanessa Lewis (adapted from Pinneger 1987)
We see relationship as primary — that the quality of human relationships is the most powerful determinant of successful programs for the development and education of troubled children.
We see crisis as opportunity — problem situations are redefined so they are no longer viewed as trouble but rather as opportunities for growth.
We believe that assessment is ecological — behaviour is understood as part of the child's total life-space, including transactions between adults, peers and the education system.
We strive to offer the least restrictive and most reclaiming environment to all residents.
Belonging, mastery, independence, generosity, recognition and new experiences are viewed as essential to human development. Further, they are acknowledged throughout the organisation and facilitated in numerous ways.
All young people deserve the support of caring adults to help them grow to become independent and self-sufficient.
All young people deserve an opportunity to learn the skills, behaviours and attitudes to equip and help them to become independent, responsible and self-sufficient adults and to feel proud of their accomplishments.
All young people deserve support when they make mistakes and assistance so they may learn from their mistakes.
All young people deserve an opportunity to live in a healthy environment where their physical and emotional needs are addressed and nurtured.
We believe the following about people:
they are unique
they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity
they can change and grow (given adequate support and resources)
they have certain inalienable rights
deserve to be heard, understood and have their views considered
they mostly want to better themselves and their situation
We believe in short term care
We believe in the importance of family life
We believe in identifying and mobilising the actual or potential strengths and resources of our clients.
We believe that each client has individual needs and responsibilities that must be addressed
We believe about children in care that:
they should be provided with basic necessities: social, emotional, spiritual, educational, developmental.
they should develop and grow into people that can interact in a competent manner according to their cultural group.
We strive to eliminate all forms of discrimination in our attitudes and practice.
We believe that children's needs are best met within a context of family life: to this end we work towards returning children to the care of the biological or adoptive parents or finding new placements, with families within the shortest possible time period.
We aim at developing children to their fullest potential and socialising them through exposure to various stimuli and active behaviour management and treatment.
We strive to maintain an atmosphere of warmth, genuineness, hospitality, open communication, inclusion of family, friends and visitors.
We adopt the principles of the child and youth care profession as in the frame below:
|Normalisation The child and youth care
worker will be committed to ensuring the child/youth is exposed
to learning activities which promote his or her developmental
needs from the perspective of normal, healthy development,
socially, mentally, physically and emotionally.
Child Advocacy The child and youth care worker will respect and uphold the physical and social and emotional rights of the child/youth from a legal, moral and cultural perspective.
Privacy The child and youth care worker will respect the need of the child, youth or family for privacy and personal space.
lndividualisation The child and youth care worker will respect the uniqueness of each child within his/her care, and will provide appropriate management and treatment approaches according to individual client needs.
Systems Integration The child and youth care worker will recognise and provide for the needs of the child/youth within the larger context of his or her family, community and will consider treatment within the larger environment of other social services, agencies and professionals.
Empowerment The child and youth care worker will promote the resourcefulness of each client/family by providing them with opportunities to build and use their own support networks, and act on their own choices and sense of responsibility.
Quality Intervention The child and youth care worker will provide quality of service through effective case management, and appropriate intervention strategies.
Continuity of Care The child and youth care worker will ensure that the changing social, emotional, physical cognitive and cultural needs of the child, youth and family are maintained throughout the treatment phases, and will ensure that additional support resources are available after termination.
Accountability The child and youth care worker will at all times consider him-/herself as a professional, his/her conduct will reflect the ethical principles as defined by the profession.
Professionalism The child and youth care worker will place importance on his/her continued personal and professional growth, and on the enhancement and expansion of the child care field as a developing profession.