Professional Issues in Child and Youth Care Practices: An Overview

1. Introduction

Child and youth care is a field of practice that has been receiving increased attention in recent years, both in terms of research and policy developments. The focus of this paper is on professional issues in child and youth care practices in school-based settings. After providing an overview of the field, we turn to a discussion of the ethical issues that arise in the context of child and youth care practices. We then describe the Canadian context, with a particular focus on the school-based system and teacher training and certification. We conclude with some thoughts on the role of the child and youth care practitioner in schools.

2. Overview of professional issues in child and youth care

2.1. Child and youth care in school-based settings
Child and youth care practitioners work in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, community mental health clinics, foster care homes, group homes, shelters, and juvenile detention centers. In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on the role of child and youth care practitioners in school-based settings. This is due in part to the recognition of the importance of early intervention in promoting positive outcomes for children and youth. Additionally, schools are often seen as a natural entry point for child and youth care services, as they are compulsory institutions that all children and families must interact with.

The role of child and youth care practitioners in schools is to promote the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of students. This includes providing support to students who are experiencing difficulties in adjustment to school or who have special needs. Child and youth care practitioners may also be involved in providing guidance to teachers on how to best support students in their classrooms. Additionally, child and youth care practitioners may be responsible for developing and implementing programs aimed at preventing problems from occurring in the first place. For example, they may develop conflict resolution programs or peer mediation programs.

2. 2 Child and youth care practitioners

Child and youth care practitioners are professionals who have received specialized training in working with children and families who are experiencing difficulties Adjusting to life circumstances or have special needs due to physical, emotional, or developmental challenges (Drake et al., 2009). In order to work effectively with children and families, child and youth care practitioners must have a solid foundation in child development theory as well as knowledge of individual differences among children (Drake et al., 2009). They must also be skilled in working with families from diverse cultural backgrounds (Drake et al., 2009). In addition to these technical skills, child and youth care practitioners must also be able to develop trusting relationships with children and families (Drake et al., 2009). This is because many of the problems that child and youth care practitioners deal with are rooted in emotional difficulties which can only be addressed through relationships built on trust (Drake et al., 2009).

2. 3 Ethics and professional conduct

All professions have ethical codes which set out the standards of conduct that members of the profession are expected to uphold. The Canadian Association for Young Children (CAYC) is the professional organization for child and youth care practitioners in Canada. The CAYC has developed a code of ethics which all members are expected to abide by (Canadian Association for Young Children [CAYC], 2011). The code includes principles such as respect for the dignity of every person, sensitivity to cultural differences, commitment to quality service, and accountability to the profession and the public.

In addition to the CAYC code of ethics, child and youth care practitioners must also adhere to the ethical codes of the organizations they are working for. For example, if a child and youth care practitioner is working in a school, they must adhere to the code of ethics of the school board or the Ministry of Education. Additionally, child and youth care practitioners must also be aware of any legislation that pertains to their work, such as the Child, Youth and Family Services Act or the Education Act.

3. The Canadian context

In order to understand the professional issues faced by child and youth care practitioners in Canada, it is necessary to understand the context in which they work. In this section, we will provide an overview of the school-based system in Canada as well as teacher training and certification.

3. 1 School-based system in Canada

The Canadian educational system is different from systems in other countries in many ways. One of the most notable differences is the fact that education is a provincial responsibility in Canada (Canadian Council on Learning [CCL], 2008). This means that there is considerable variation in the way that education is delivered across the country. For example, in some provinces, such as Quebec, schools are organized differently than in other provinces (CCL, 2008). Additionally, there are also differences in the curriculum that is taught in different provinces (CCL, 2008). These variations can make it difficult for child and youth care practitioners who are working in one province to transfer their skills to another province.

Another difference between the Canadian educational system and systems in other countries is the way that teachers are trained and certified. In Canada, there is no nationally standardized system for teacher training or certification (CCL, 2008). This means that each province has its own system for training and certifying teachers. As a result, there is significant variation in the qualifications required to teach in different provinces (CCL, 2008). For example, some provinces require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree in education while others only require a bachelor’s degree (CCL, 2008).

3. 2 Teacher training and certification

As mentioned above, there is no nationally standardized system for teacher training or certification in Canada. This means that each province has its own system for training and certifying teachers. As a result, there is significant variation in the qualifications required to teach in different provinces. For example, some provinces require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree in education while others only require a bachelor’s degree (CCL, 2008). Additionally, some provinces have different requirements for teachers who wish to teach at the elementary level versus the secondary level (CCL, 2008).
In order to be certified to teach in a particular province, teachers must meet the requirements set out by that province’s Teacher Regulation Board (TRB) (CCL, 2008). The TRBs are responsible for setting the standards for teacher education and certification in each province (CCL, 2008). They are also responsible for ensuring that teachers meet these standards (CCL, 2008).

4. Conclusion

In conclusion, professional issues in child and youth care practices include the programs models within the learning setting and the preparation procedures concerning educator's role. These professional ethics are important to follow so Canada’s school system can maintain a safe and secure environment for all students.

FAQ

Child and youth care practitioners in school-based settings may face a variety of professional issues, such as lack of support from administrators or colleagues, large caseloads, and challenging behavior from students.

These issues can be addressed by building positive relationships with administrators and colleagues, developing efficient time-management skills, and using positive behavioral interventions.

If these issues are not addressed, child and youth care practitioners may experience burnout, job dissatisfaction, or even termination from their position.

To prevent or mitigate these issues, child and youth care practitioners can advocate for themselves and their students, seek out professional development opportunities, and build a supportive network of colleagues.