NUMBER 15 • 3 MAY 2002 • CHILD CARE WORKERS
INDEX OF QUOTES
Child care workers are unique people. They are people committed to children and youth, so intensely, that they are willing to spend the majority of their days living and working with them. How many other people would choose to spend their days and evenings and nights working with children who hurt? How many others would voluntarily choose to spend their time helping young people learn new ways to live in spite of the fact that these children behave in ways which hurt and abuse you on a daily basis? Yet, in spite of the hurt it may cause for you, and in spite of the fact that much of your work is not valued by the societies in which we live, you choose to continue to make your contribution in this way. Many people, if you told them that you were choosing to spend your days with children who would frequently hate you, often hurt you, and only occasionally appreciate you, would think you were crazy.
Child care workers are curious people. They are curious about life, about behaviour, and about what "makes things tick." Let me paint a little scenario for you. It’s dinner time. You and one of your colleagues are sitting around the table eating supper with a group of troubled young children. At the other end of the table two of them begin to fight, you ask them to calm down, they tell you to go to hell, and one of them throws something at you. After you’ve dealt with the situation in whatever way works best, you probably find yourself later that evening talking with your colleague about what happened. And, typically, you find yourself asking questions like: "I wonder what was bothering him tonight?"; "I wonder how we can help him manage better in the future?" Questions of curiosity. Questions of understanding. The search for reason and the search for a way to do things differently. These are hallmarks of the child care profession and they grow out of our curiosity about children, about problems, and about life. Many other people, after such an experience, would simply be angry and critical of the child. Child care workers seek answers to questions rather than satisfaction for their own upset or anger.
— THOM GARFAT
Garfat, T. (1992). Child care workers: Catalysts for a future world. Journal of Child and Youth Care Work, Vol.8, p.27