STRUGGLE FOR INTEGRITY IN RESIDENTIAL CHILDREN’S HOMES: PROFESSIONAL SELF-ESTEEM AND ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT — PRACTICAL EXPERIENCES FROM HUNGARY

Zsolt B. Major

Abstract


This article presents an organizational development process — a therapeutic residential care model known as “Armchair” — that is based on qualitative experiences gained by the author in 10 years of practice, and that draws upon theories from child and youth care (CYC) and organizational psychology. The ideas described here have been implemented in several children’s homes in Hungary. Based on the premise that CYC is an autonomous applied science, the paper describes briefly the theoretical principles created from everyday practice in Hungary. It examines similarities between this model and the Cornell CARE model from the United States in relation to such aspects as the basic needs of children in residential care and the long-term orientation to building practice methods within agencies. A practical approach with a system-oriented perspective developed in Hungary for implementing the principles is presented. This includes a Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle model-quality assurance system designed to meet the needs of children, and furnishes an example of how information technology software can support the daily job of employees in terms of administrative and supportive activities. The article discusses weaknesses, threats, or challenges that can occur during implementation and threaten the program’s aims of helping both children and staff. This analysis uncovers the underlying role and importance of positive identity and self-esteem among staff, with a strong focus on personal and professional integrity. In conclusion, findings are presented that indicate some possible solutions for the problems discussed, comparing these qualitative results to previous quantitative evidence found in research studies measuring the effectiveness of the CARE model, and drawing some commonalities from the two approaches.

Keywords


child and youth care (CYC), therapeutic residential care (TRC), organizational development in TRC, professional identity in CYC, bridging theory and practice

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18357/ijcyfs92201818210



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International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies

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