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Child and Youth Care: Self-Awareness, Effective Attributes, and Family Empowerment

Why is self-awareness an essential part of CYC work?

1. Why is self-awareness an essential part of CYC work? 

2. Describe two personal attributes of an effective C.Y.C. and discuss how these attributes contribute positively to our work with families. 

3. What are two possible goals of the CYC in an initial meeting with a family?

4. Describe two things that a C.Y.C. can do that would empower a parent or caregiver in a home visiting, family support situation? 

5. Why is it important for C.Y.C.’s to get in touch with and understand their own ethnicity?  How does this knowledge help us become culturally skilled helpers?  

6. Discuss two important considerations that you would keep in mind if you were the worker assigned to the Davis family; the “Super Nanny” clip of the family who believed in spanking as a discipline. 

7. What response would you make to the following statement made by a parent talking to you about their child?  Discuss briefly how you know your response is therapeutic. I wish he would just do as he was told!" 

8. Briefly discuss two factors that would be important for a C.Y.C. to consider when helping a family with child management. 

9. Regardless of the setting or the age and stage of a child/youth, what are the steps to intervention? Discuss each step briefly. List six..

10. C.Y.C.’s often support families in their homes, instead of making families come into an office environment. Name four specific advantages to being with people where they live their lives or online.   

11. List four ways you would positively involve parents in a contemporary residential treatment program.   

12. When we work with families, we need to be aware of the impact of larger systems on the family, particularly in terms of risk factors.  From your readings and discussions in class, list four potential systemic risk factors that could be barriers to parents nurturing their children. 

A. You are a home-based worker meeting the parents in their home for the very first time. The children are not involved in this initial meeting. The family consists of both parents (married for 11 years), and two children.  Parents describe their daughter as a quiet, compliant ten-year-old girl, who is a bit on the shy side, but has two really good friends. They are really concerned about their eight-year-old son, who they describe as a “hellion”. He is a “handful” at home, but acts like an “angel “ at school. Parents are very frustrated with their son’s inability to follow the rules and routines at home.  He just doesn’t listen.

Describe two personal attributes of an effective C.Y.C.

Mom explains in great detail all of the things she has tried to use as consequences with her son, such as grounding, taking away privileges, early bedtimes. She is very clear with the worker that none of the techniques she has tried, work. Their son will not listen to them and is defiant. The Father raises his voice when talking about his son, whom he says ignores his attempts to teach him the “proper” way. “The only thing the boy seems to understand is a good swat.”

13. If you were this worker, what would your initial assessment of the situation be, based on what you have heard from parents? 

14. How would you describe the interactional pattern between the son and the parents that could be contributing to the son’s behaviour?   

15. Using a strength-based approach, what would your initial steps be with this family? 

16. How might you explain to the parents what you think is going on? 

17. Based on your answer to the question above, What would you suggest to parents that could break their negative interactional pattern with their son? 

B. You work in a residential treatment program. You have a withdrawn, usually quiet, fourteen year old male adolescent, who is very small for his age. His name is Jared. You have noticed that his size and quiet nature seem to be targeted by the other boys in the home and he is often picked on by the other residents. Jared is in residential treatment because he gets angry and has major tantrums that typically end in restraints by staff. The staff try to manage his acting out behaviour with consequences. You have observed that the more Jared gets consequence, the more he withdraws from others. 

You have accompanied Jared to his home to facilitate positive connections and visits with his parents, and you have noticed a similar pattern. The Dad , Mom and older brother all connect with one another by teasing and mild put-downs. Whenever the Dad or the big brother tease Jared, he gets angry and the temper tantrums start.  His tantrums overwhelm his family and invite them to get angry back. His parents feel they are unable to help their son with his terrible temper.

18. Use preparatory empathy to try to determine how Jared might be seeing his situation, and how he might be feeling. Discuss.

19. Based on your answers in the question above, develop a hypothesis regarding Jared’s temper tantrums. 

20. Following the steps to intervention, what would you do to help Jared? 

21. As the adolescent’s primary worker, briefly describe two skill promotion areas you  would focus on and explain why.     

C. You are running a parent group where you are talking to parents about the importance of having empathy with their children so that they also develop empathy. One of your parents says the following: “I think I am an empathic parent with my two daughters. They are eleven and fourteen years old.  Yet I think they take advantage of my empathy. For example, the other night my eleven year old wanted to stay up past her bedtime to watch television. I told her I knew how she felt, that it was past her bedtime and she couldn’t watch TV.  She said if I really knew how she felt, I would let her watch. She also said that all of her friends were watching the show. I ended up feeling sorry for her and let her watch the program. So much for empathy! What else could I have done?”

22. What “mistake” do you think this parent is making? What would you say to this parent?

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