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ISSN 0840-982X


Table of Contents
VOL 8 (3

iii In This Issue

v Editorial: Maryan�s Blues
      Thom Garfat

1 Organizational Commitment of Child Care Providers Employed in Centre Facilities
      Nancy Camahan Webb and Malcolm A. Lowther

Abstract: This study investigated the commitment of 381 full-time caregivers employed in licensed centres by examining the relationship between caregiver commitment and caregiver satisfaction, perceptions of job characteristics and the quality of the centre of employment. Multiple regression analyses revealed that more than 53 percent of the variance in commitment was accounted for by the following independent variables: satisfaction with the job, positive job perceptions, caregivers age and educational level. We end by discussing the implications of the study for practice.

17 Therapeutic Education: Personal Growth Experiences for Child and Youth Care Workers
      Frances Ricks

Abstract: As a child and youth care counsellor, helping another person means surrendering attachments to personal needs and desires, in order to see and do what is required in the best interest of the client(s). But what if the worker's needs and desires are so powerful that they distort and force others to fit their view of the world, costing them their recovery and eventual growth? this article proposes a Therapeutic Education approach in the training of child and youth care workers which focuses on the individual's personal growth and development needs within curriculum objectives. Because the focus of Therapeutic Education is on the development and enhancement of the self, then educators must have clarity about the self whether thay are teaching research or clinical courses.

35 My Developmental Stages as a Child Care Student
      Chris Beneteau

Abstract: Nervousness, apprehension and fear are only three of the words I associate with the beginning of my second year placement. This was a time of many questions: Will I make a good Child and Youth Care Worker? Is this what I really want to do with my life? After six months of field placement at a residential treatment centre, the answer is yes. In this paper, I outline events that support my decision to become a Child and Youth Care Worker. I will also address my "coming of age" as a Child and Youth Care Worker; the times that i have asserted my individuality and independence, and have grown through my success

41 Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy with Adolescent Males in a Residential Treatment Centre
      Paul M. Valliant

Abstract: The effect of a residential treatment program was examined on 10 adolescents males between the ages of 11 and 16 years. All residents were administered daily behavioural therapy in combination with once weekly cognitive behavioural therapy. Prior to the program and at three- and six month intervals, all residents were evaluated with a battery of psychometric tests including the Coopersmith Self-esteem Inventory, Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety scales and the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory. Result of the evaluation showed a significant increase in self-esteem and a decrease in verbal hostility over the treatment period. There was a decrease in anxiety; however, it was not significant. One year after discharge from the treatment cantre, a follow-up of the residents showed that 80 percent were incarcerated in either an open custody or closed custody correctional facility. The long lasting effect of the treatment model is questioned as residents seem to require imposed structure to control their behaviour

51 The Nature of the Communicative Relationship Within a Residential Milieu
      Don Pazaratz

Abstract: In this paper, I am going to recount some interactions with a youth I have named Cheryl J., who had been ejected or prematurely discharges from numerous treatment programs before being placed in mine. I believe Cheryl has many of the characteristics and behaviors of adolescents labeled hard to serve. She developed a reputation in the Children's Services system (Ontario) as being untreatable, as were her own parents. I want to describe from our interactions, how I tried to understand her behavior, her thinking and emotional responses. I look at how she conveys the meaning of her knowledge. In every way, Cheryl typifies the type of youth who should be in treatment.

59 Using Analogues to Slow the Tempo and Create Positive Rhythms: A Commentary on Relationships in Child Care
      Bruce A. Gray

Abstract: Analogue-making with troubled youth can be used as an effective child and youth care intervention to help them slow their tempo in stressful situations so that problem-solving dialogue can begin. A case example is presented and the process demonstrated.

63 Structuring for Competence, Relevance and the Empowerment of Children and Those Who Care for Them: A Case Study of the Sage Hill Program
      Rod Durkin

Abstract: The paper argues that how a program is structured has important and far-reaching implications for its effectiveness. the Sage Hill Program is used to illustrate how promoting competence is "built-in" and shows the usefulness of combining a brief but positive residential experience with a year-round community-based program in order to potentiate and make both more relevant. finally, adopting a management-by-consensus structure is examined as a strategy to empower and those who care for them to enhance program effectiveness and to avoid the counterproductive adversial relationships between staff and youth that are often "built-in," i.e. structured into program

77 Play Friendly and Safe: A Therapeutic Group Model for Young Children (5�8 Years Old) Who Have Witnessed Wife Assault
      Marian Crockford, Gary Kent and Nicole Stewart

Abstract: This article portrays a therapeutic group process model for children who have witnessed wife assault. Wife assault is described as the physical, emotional, verbal and/or sexual abuse of a woman by her male partner. it is estimated that currently over one million women in Canada are victims of wife assault. children who have witnessed wife assault are at risk to perpetuate the cycle of violence when they became adults unless they are given an opportunity to understand and express their feelings about the imbalance of power within their family home.

87 Talking to the Animal
      Kathleen Hoelscher and Thom Garfat

Abstract: As the field progresses, creative ideas and innovations surface. This paper demonstrates the potential use of pet visitation in a child and youth care in-home family support program. Through the use of a trained poodle, a child and youth care worker is able to make special relationship connections.

93 A Prayer
Charles A. Brinkman

95 Commentary � The Touch: An Educative Experience
Sherwin Laptiste

97 Views from the Field: It's that simple
Karen VanderVen

101 Situations in Child and Youth care: Leanne's Question

107 Ask Charlotte


Maryan's Blues


As I write this, Billy Holiday sings melancholy blues in the background. It�s a rainy summer afternoon in Montreal�the house smells of paste wax and the bird whistles parts of another forgotten song. Holiday�s blues fit perfect with the day; my day, at least. But probably not with yours and certainly not with Maryan�s. She�s living her own blues trying to figure out how to get her children back from the social service agency and drinking away her sorrows with a bottle of cheap wine purchased with the remnants of a welfare cheque too thin to live on.

The last time she met with the social worker she was told that she would have to change her lifestyle if she hoped to get her children back to live with her again. When she asked what she had to change, the social worker reeled off a list of generalizations that would have confused a schizophrenic; like, she had to take a serious look at the relationship she was involved in with Ted, and think about getting a job or doing something useful with her time. Then there was a comment about the size of the apartment she lived in and how her friends contributed to the home environment being less than desirable for young children. Finally, the worker told Maryan that she would have to demonstrate that she really was working on improving things before the worker could recommend to the judge that Maryan�s children be returned to her. At the end of that meeting, Maryan slammed her way from the office yelling that the system had her kids and was doing everything it could to keep them. The worker commented to herself that Maryan was getting crazier all the time and noted in her log that she seemed to show no motivation to make the necessary changes.

Sounds okay�if you know what the worker meant. Maryan didn�t. I don�t. And frankly, I�m not sure the worker did either.

We use generalizations too easily in our work. In the absence of specificity, how are people supposed to know what is expected of them? How is Maryan supposed to know what to look at in her relationship with Ted, for example, unless the worker is more specific and clear? And what does it mean, anyway, to take a look at a relationship? Does it mean that she should take a look at it and see something the worker sees; like it�s unhealthy, or it holds her back?

I�m reminded of a scene in Cat Ballou where Lee Marvin and his horse are leaning drunkenly one morning against a building after a night of serious over-drinking. Lee Marvin�s eyes are a painful blistering red and someone comments to him that his eyes look terrible. His reply? "You should see them from this side."

We can only see another�s reality from the outside, looking in. From the inside looking out it may be different, even worse.

When the worker looks from the outside-in, she sees the reality of Maryan only as an outsider. If, from this outside perspective, she has something she wants to say, or some advice to offer, she must offer it in a way that has meaning from Maryan�s perspective�from the inside, looking out. Sounds like the essence of empathy to me.

I change the Billy Holiday music for something more exotic and New Age from Australia and I reflect on how my world is so expansive. Maryan reflects on how hers is so restrictive and controlled: restricted by her limited opportunities and controlled by those who would influence her to live differently. I think about how I would react if someone were to tell me how to change my way of living and my relationships. The anger wells up in me just thinking about it. I can�t imagine how enraged Maryan must be to have others tell her what to do without being specific about it. So, I decide to ask her.

She bombards me with years of pent-up rage. I am beaten back into my chair by the hostility she feels towards those of us who have the power to control her life. I am torn apart by her pain and agony, the love she feels for her children, and her desire to be with them. The craziness that she feels is being nurtured by her experience of a system afraid to be clear with her. I tell her what we want her to do in very specific terms. She tells me she can do it. I remind her that others have told her before and she hasn�t changed her ways. She says that this time it is different.

She leaves calmly and we wait to see what happens. She changes some things in her life and her children go home to be with her. They don�t live "happily ever after" but they manage to stay together.

Later, I ask her why she was able to do it this time when she had not been able to do it before. Her reply? "I never really knew what I had to do before. Once I knew what I had to do, it wasn�t so hard."

It makes you wonder�and sometimes it makes you crazy, just like Maryan.

If you can�t be clear, you shouldn�t be in the business.