Child and Youth Care (CYC) practice incorporates a myriad of activities, which are not solely action-oriented. Hence, individuals who are not interested in what CYC practice entails cannot easily understand some of the activities. What people presume to be the role of CYC practitioners often departs from what the actual duties involve. Moreover, some CYC providers are uncertain concerning what their profession entails. Hence, they end up doing a number of activities that are irrelevant to their career. It is important for the public and CYC practitioners to know the professional issues within the CYC field. The discussion in this paper focuses on professional issues in Aboriginal youth services.
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Aboriginal Youth Services: How CYCs are involved
CYC practitioners encourage the optimal growth of infants, youngsters, and their families in various forms such as early care, community-founded child and youth development projects, and rehabilitation programs among others. One of the communities that need optimal development is the Aboriginal community. Aboriginal people refer to the collective title of indigenous people of North America together with their descendants.
The trans-generational agony of the Aboriginal communities raises the need for CYC practitioners to give them attention. After colonization, the first generation of the Aboriginals faced harsh treatment that comprised slavery, incarceration, and assassination. Most of the children who were raised by single parents were products of rape cases (Gharabaghi, 2013).
The subsequent generation was taken to reserved areas where people could not access education, health, proper sanitation, and they lacked jobs. In an effort to control the depression they were undergoing, most of them resorted to alcoholism and drug abuse. Contritely, youngsters in the third generation also faced trauma in the form of being secluded from their relatives as they were taken to non-indigenous care centers where they faced discrimination and assault from their peers.
Seclusion molded parents who had little or no knowledge in parenting. Hence, they nurtured children with poor moral values and principles. Trauma and moral values have been transmitted to the current generation. Aboriginal males have been reported to be part of pedophile cliques. If no effective steps are taken, it is apparent that the trauma will persist even in the prospective generation (Lopes, Flouris, & Lindeman, 2013).
The role of CYC practice in the provision of Aboriginal youth services is to encourage behavioral adjustment accompanied personal development of youngsters who have certain difficulties because of poor upbringing and trans-generational trauma that has affected the current generation of Aboriginals. The services must be offered in harmony with the principles and codes of CYC practice.
It is important to note that Aboriginal youth services should be strength-oriented because of the background of the Aboriginal community. Upon considering the issue of drug abuse, poverty, brutality, colonization, and assimilation that the Aboriginal families underwent, it becomes apparent that the role of CYC workers should not view the problem from the individual perspective but as a problem that is triggered by trans-generational trauma (Lopes et al., 2013).
The existing education system has failed to incorporate the indigenous culture of the Aboriginals. The absence of such knowledge of indigenous civilization has the effect of creating a disconnection between youths and their actual ancestry, thus causing a violent risk factor. Hence, CYCs should note that they also have a role in ensuring that Aboriginal youths can be helped to cope with their indigenous culture. Thus, it calls for the promotion of the emergence of strong youths in such an adulterated community instead of striving to solve the problems of the youths in isolation (Westerman, 2010).
The guiding principles for conducting proper Aboriginal youth service should entail comprehending and promoting cultural identity, enhancing youth engagement, promoting youth empowerment, and creating sustainable effective partnerships. Once the youths can identify with their culture, CYC practitioners will be in a good position to help them in avoiding brutalities that have been triggered by generational traumas.
Youth engagement and training gives an opportunity to youths who participate in various activities in the community whilst allowing them to display their leadership skills. As an extension, youth empowerment and training involves assisting youths to improve their talents and proficiencies while using such talents to foster social change. Moreover, creating a sustainable partnership is of great essence to Aboriginal families because they promote unity and harmony among the extended family members and the community as a whole (Gharabaghi, 2013).
Having well trained CYC professionals to understand and/or assist the Aboriginal community may prove an involving task. Although a CYC provider needs to be trained by experienced predecessors, the duty of training practitioners should be solely left for educators. Educators should incorporate other practitioners within the workspace such as administrators to enhance the training of CYC providers.
CYC practice needs to be a flexible practice that is concurrent with contemporary development. For instance, in the Canada, CYC practitioners are taken through “workshops, conferences, or training sessions” (CYC-NET, n.d, Para. 14) so that they can remain at par with the changing societal needs. A study by Lopes et al. (2013) indicates that one of the main factors that discourage CYC care services is the absence of professional providers and staff members.
Respecting Boundaries, Ethics, and Values
According to the Canadian Nurses Association (2009), Canada established the Primary Health Care Transition Fund to address the financial demands CYC practitioners through their various programs such as the nurses’ CNPI project. The government sets aside finances to foster professional development in the public arena. Furthermore, non-governmental organizations also fund the practitioners who work under non-governmental institutions.
Contemporary development in the profession has also seen efforts to develop a unified boundary that defines the purpose of CYC practice, improve on proficiency, and increase the knowledge base of workers. Moreover, a national certification process, codes of ethics, and professional child and youth care organizations have been created to help in improving the quality of CYC practice. The presence of qualified professionals in the field ensures that the trans-generational traumas that the Aboriginal communities encountered are eliminated through effective means.
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CYCs’ Relational Approach
Relational approach is of great essence when it comes to Aboriginals youth services. Garbarino, Bradshaw, and Vorrasi (2002) are some of the scholars who have focused on understanding the causes of violence among children. He shows how to rehabilitate youngsters. He once stated that when it comes to issues pertaining to children, culture is more significance than logistics. Studies indicate that a man’s progress is driven by the existence of a community and other relationships (Lopes et al., 2013).
Human evolution shows that the modern form of man continues to exist because human beings have discovered that survival can be attained through living in a community and/or creating a good kinship with other members of the community. As altricial creatures, human beings learn to survive by relying on members of the society. A child naturally adopts a close relationship with the mother.
He or she depends on her for the provision of all needs. In that, if a child is hungry, he or she will call the mother to provide food. The child grows with a loyal attachment to parents. When the child becomes an adult, he or she passes the same parental care to his or her children. In essence, this loyal attachment to the parents becomes a chain that is passed down from one generation to another. This observation implies that poor parental skills can easily be passed down to other generations as witnessed in the case of Aboriginals, hence causing a generation that suffers insufficient care (Garbarino et al., 2002).
CYC seeks to provide care for children who failed to receive adequate care from the parents (Garbarino et al., 2002). In most cases, the situation is severe because some youngsters may have experienced brutality, sexual harassment, and neglect from their parents and community. Abused children have a tendency of secluding themselves from other members of the society. The seclusion is caused by the negative attachment attitude that they adopt from their parents due to their (parents) failure to show them the need for a good rapport with other people.
Hence, they perceive people as dangerous. The disconnection of relationship between the youngsters and the society should be the focal point. Hence, the relational approach is effective since it concentrates on healing the condition of the youngster whilst providing a surrounding where the CYC practitioner can learn more about his or her career. Studies have shown that when children are given responsive care, they able to develop a new and positive attachment form of relationship (Garbarino et al., 2002).
Challenges that CYCs Face
CYC providers are expected to work under certain principles for the attainment of CYC goals (Gharabaghi, 2013). They need to foster the wellbeing of all youngsters under their care. These goals entail providing a secure surrounding that encourages proper individual wellbeing (Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, 2000). Therefore, CYC providers should ensure that their presence instills a higher self-esteem among the youngsters.
Moreover, there is a need to consider divergent cultural backgrounds that the child has undergone so that the caring program turns out effective. The techniques and materials that are used by the CYC workers should be development-oriented. They should promote human dignity. Integrity is also an essential component of child and youth care. It entails being sincere and open to parents, youngsters, and workmates during communication, keeping confidential information away from public reach, and performing all professional roles discreetly. Nonetheless, the application of these CYC principles is not easy (Gharabaghi, 2013).
The existence of Aboriginal community has persisted, despite oppressive years. Despite intermarriages, the existing population of Aboriginals still has traces of the impact of segregation that the previous communities faced. CYC workers have noted that Aboriginal families have maintained their conventional ways of handling their children.
Hence, child maltreatment might be less relative non-indigenous communities. CYC workers should generate and sustain a good rapport with the community members with an intention to discover the community’s values that allow youths to have stable relationships with other members of the society. Practitioners must be flexible enough to understand the divergent cultures when they deploy the relational approach (Westerman, 2010; King, 2011).
CYCs’ Professional Relationships
A recent research by King (2011) proves that material assistance is a vital issue that affects the Aboriginal families’ ability to care for their children. CYCs need to demonstrate professional relationships, not only with the affected people, but also with other bodies that may be of help to the communities. Many of these Aboriginal families have poor standards of living because of lack of employment and their refusal to apply for benefits.
The reason for which Aboriginal families are less likely to seek benefits from the government is the persistent fear of losing their children as it has been witnessed in the past years in Australia. This observation may have much to do with the fact that majority of these families are of minority age. There is also the drastic increase of population of the Aboriginal families. Therefore, there is a need by the concerned government departments to reassess the manner in which they handle issues that relate to the Aboriginal population.
It will be a better situation if the government funds the families, as opposed to delivering direct services to them. Another workable approach will be setting out procedures and policies that will be instrumental in helping them to access the means to develop their very own designed child and youth programs. Such programs are more effective and responsive to their needs (Gharabaghi, 2013).
CYCs need to communicate professionally with the Aboriginal communities, which have begun demanding their rights. They claim that they should be allowed to nurture their own children. According to them, they are at a better position to understand their culture and develop mechanisms to resolve the issues that their youngsters are facing. Nonetheless, this assertion can only be taken seriously if they are financially stable.
Therefore, CYC practitioners should communicate the importance of Aboriginal communities being included in the training programs. Such programs will provide an employment opportunity and hence resolve the poverty problem. As members of the community, they are better placed to understand the origins of the problems that their youths are going through. Therefore, it is important for Aboriginal youth services to incorporate members of the community who have reformed and consented to be empowered.
Conclusion: Power, Cultural, and other forms of Identity Diversity
In conclusion, the impact of intermarriage to Aboriginal families should be put to great focus because it has distorted the indigenous believes of the Aboriginal communities (Westerman, 2010). Most individuals often misunderstand the role played by children and youth care providers, especially because of the myriad activities that they engage in. Traditionally, Aboriginal communities recognized the existence of extended family members.
Hence, a child could address his or her grandparents with the same respect that he or she would give to the actual parents. These beliefs may conflict with most modern family structure. Therefore, CYC workers who are foreign to the traditional practices of the Aboriginal families may be forced to provide ideas to the youngsters that are conflicting with the traditions. Consequently, this situation might contradict with the role and duty of CYC workers.
Nonetheless, this obliviousness may lead CYC workers participating in areas that are not important while ignoring pertinent power and cultural issues in the society. Aboriginal youths are among those sectors that need crucial care. The trans-generational trauma that has bedeviled the Aboriginal communities calls for special attention towards the youngsters in the latter community. Nevertheless, Aboriginal youth services should include members of the community to make the CYC programs effective.
Canadian Nurses Association. (2009). Recommendations of the Canadian Nurse Practitioner Initiative. Web.
Central Australian Aboriginal Congress. (2000). Needs of Urban Dwelling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples – Commonwealth Parliamentary Inquiry. Australia: Alice Springs.
CYC-NET. (n.d). Council of Canadian Child and Youth Care Associations. Web.
Garbarino, J., Bradshaw, C., & Vorrasi , J. (2002). Mitigating the Effects of Gun Violence on Children and Youth. Web.
Gharabaghi, K. (2013). Professional Issues Child Youth Care. New York, NY: Routledge.
King, M. (2011). Scaling Up the Knowledge to Achieve Aboriginal Wellness. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 56(2), 73-74.
Lopes, J., Flouris, A., & Lindeman, M. (2013). Youth development programs in Central Australian Aboriginal communities. Youth Studies Australia, 32(1), 55-62.
Westerman, T. (2010). Engaging Australian Aboriginal youth in mental health services. Australian Psychologist, 45(3), 212-222.