NUMBER 56 • 1 JULY 2002 • ONLY PEOPLE CHANGE PEOPLE
INDEX OF QUOTES
Only people change people; and the qualities required for this are the same as they have always been. Our mistake lies in thinking that the acquisition of skills alone is paramount. Colourless individuals with textbook knowledge achieve little. The residential worker must have a positive personality that can attract and hold youngsters. He must possess other qualities, too, but we shall come to those later. In a nutshell, we influence children if they like and respect us enough to want to be like us. That after all is how a good parent-child relationship works.
We have to remember that the adolescent today must learn to navigate in a world that is almost devoid of signposts as far as behaviour is concerned. Worse, it is full of seductive ideas which influence him to believe that affluence and material possessions form the high road to happiness and fulfilment. The job of orientating him is mainly an educative one in the proper sense of that overworked verb.
For a minority of heavily damaged youngsters a psycho-dynamic mode of treatment is apposite, as is a policy of behaviour modification for the small proportion of young recidivists. The central characteristic of the mass of our problem youngsters is that they have experienced the numbing adversity of deprivation, and it is this which should dictate our approach and define the future task
Crystallisations of Experience – I in the July 1977 issue of the Community Home Schools Gazette. Republished in Evans, D. (1985) (ed.) The Best of the Gazette. Surbiton: Social Care Association. pp. 95–96