"There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in"
Henry Graham Green
What is Professionalism and How is it Determined?
Merriam Webster's on-line dictionary defines professionalism as "the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person" (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/professionalism). A profession is separated from a job or occupation, according to Karen Vander Ven (Competent Caregivers Competent Children) by the following characteristics:
- an established knowledge base
- controlled entry into the field
- a value system around service, including a code of ethics
- the needs of clients are defined by the profession
- autonomous practice
- a specialized education system embracing both the knowledge base and delivery skills The practice of Child and Youth Care (CYC) is defined by Carol Stuart, author of Foundations of Child and Youth Care (2009), as one that "focuses on the developmental needs of children, youth, and families within the space of time of their daily lives. People who work in the field are dedicated to improving the lives of children, youth, and families through an active and engaged recognition of the competence and value of the people with whom they work."
Professional practitioners, according to the Child and Youth Care Association of British Columbia (CYCABC), "are generative and flexible; they are self-directed and have a high degree of personal initiative. Their performance is consistently reliable. They function effectively both independently and as a team member. Professional practitioners are knowledgeable about what constitutes a profession, and engage in professional and personal development and self-care. The professional practitioner is aware of the function of professional ethics and uses professional ethics to guide and enhance practice and advocates effectively for children, youth, families, and the profession" (http://www.cycabc.com/index2.php#/home/).
This website was created in 2011 by Jean Braun and Kristy Jackson
students in the Child and Youth Care (CYC) stream of the Human Services Diploma program
as a project for the "Professionalism in Child and Youth Care" course
at Selkirk College in Castlegar, BC, Canada.