44 / Social Work with Children and Youth

15 – 21 June 2008   print this page

Course directors:

Torill Tjelflaat, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway
Jean Gervais, University of Hull, Quebec, Canada
Sonia Jackson, Thomas Coram RU / University of London, United Kingdom

Course description:

Inter-University Center for Postgraduate Studies DubrovnikThe IUC School of Social Work Theory & PracticeCourse Social Work with Children and Youth2008 Symposium Children/Youth and the World of ViolenceThe IUC Dubrovnik, Don Frana Bulica 4. June 15 21, 2008Course Directors (alphabetically): Organizing Director: Dr. Jean Gervais, Quebec, Canada Dr. Dada M. MaglajlicDr. Sonia Jackson, England Professor of SRS, BSUDr. Dada M. Maglajlic, Cro/USA Voice-mail: 218 755 2837Dr. Torill Tjelflaat, Norway E-mail: dadam@paulbunyan.netCourse DescriptionParticipants examine implementation of the UN convention of the rights of children(specifically articles 19, and 34 38), and related documents. Equal attention is givento all age subgroups, with special reference to policy and planning, as well as to different facets of SW theory and practice. Growing violence all over the world callsfor our exploration and action. Children experience violence before they are born andright after it. It is omnipresent: we find it in the family, school, in the streets, media,in the most intimate relationships. Through a set of lectures and small group dialogueswe plan to explore violence and self-violence at child/young person, family, peer group, and society level/s looking at its etiology and phenomena, possible prevention,and different interventions.Accommodation: congress@gulliver.hr & Ivana.Sokol@gulliver.hr Phone: 385 20 410 817 or 385 20 313 321 Proposed Daily ScheduleMonday, June 16, 20088: 30 9:30 AM Registration9:30 10:30 AM WELCOME, INTRODCTIONS & Defining schedule for the week10:30 11 AM Coffee/tea Break11 AM Noon: Paul de Heer: Youth Care in the NetherlandsNoon 1 PM Lunch Break1 2:30 PM Small Group/s Dialogue (SGD)2:30 3:30 PM Group reports and dialogueTuesday, June 17, 20088:30 10 AM Torill Tjelflaat: Violence and Sexual Abuse of Children in Norwegian Institutions from 1935 to 1986 - Report from an investigating committee10 10:30 AM Coffee/tea Break10:30 Noon Trish Quitgaard: Bullying in Schools Understanding Bullying and How to Intervene within SchoolsNoon 1 PM: Lunch Break1 PM 3 PM SGD3 4 PM Group SessionWednesday, June 18, 20088:30 10 Mirna Gajski & Josipa Mihic: Review of Prevention and Treatment Programs for Violent Behavior among Children and Youth9:30 10: 30 AM Laura Pavicic: Family Violence A Psychosocial Treatment of Victims10:30 11 AM Coffee/tea Break11 Noon Odilia van Manen-Rojnic: Care Providers & Secondary TraumaNoon 1 PM Lunch Break1 3 PM SGD3 4 PM Group SessionThursday, June 19, 20088:30 9:30 AM Stefan Matula, Lubomir Palenik, Alena Kopanyiova: Slovak National Project on Childrens Aggressive Behavior9:30 10:30 AM Viktorija Pecnikar Oblak: Endangered Children Crisis Center10:30 - 11 AM Coffee/tea Break 11 Noon: Akiko Kosaka: Technology and Youth ViolenceNoon 1 PM Lunch Break1 3 PM SGD3 4 PM Group SessionFriday, June 20, 2008 8 AM 2+ PM Snezana Repac: Orphan Childrens Life in Transition Dada M. Maglajlic: Boys Adrift Culture, Identity, Violence Course Evaluation, Plan for the year 2009 and 2010 Lecture Abstracts with Resource Persons (alphabetically)Paul deHeer, Program DirectorMasterpleiding Pedagogiek, HollandPaul.deHeer@han.nlYouth Care in the Netherlans: Policy Developments and TrainingIn my lecture for the IUC Course SW with Children and Youth I paint a picture of 2008 Youth Care in the Netherlands. I show in which way and along which themes the policy developments take shape. Besides, I describe in which way studyprograms have reacted to the changed focus of Youth Care.Attention for the broad field of Youth Care in the Netherlands has become moreand more prominent in the last years. It may be stated that the formation of ideason the establishment of a Program Ministry for Youth and Family in 2007 was an important incentive for this. It may also be stated that the establishment of thisMinistry is the result of a development direction that has set the focus of YouthCare on parenting (education), increasingly so over the past ten years. Educationaltask/s of family, relatives, schools, municipalities, provinces and national authoritiesis prominent and finds its way to the front pages of the media every day. Parenting(educating) and growing up are subjects of discussion on a municipal, national andscientific level. Of course, the discussion about parenting (educating) and growingup is not new, but an important shifting did take place in the direction of the policythat has brought this discussion closer to all parties involved.The emphasis on residential youth care in the tackling of educational problems hasshifted to close attention for ambulant youth care. Parenting support in a maltitude of forms is a very important item in Youth Care. Content-wise the focus is shifting from a curative approach to a preventive ap-proach. An important development that has also added much attention in thedebate on Youth Care is the directive function that it has. The effect of the public debate on educational issues in the broadest sense of theword on the study programs is significant. The increase in the number of studentsthat each year enroll for study programs in the educational domain was in the past6 to 7 years between 50% and 100%, in some parts of the country even more thana 100%! Content-wise a shift is noticeable from focusing on remedial-educationalquestions (special needs) to educational questions regarding parenting support and development stimulation, as well as prevention and information issues. This tendencyholds for both the bachelors and the masters degree programs. Mirna Gajski, V. Gorica & Josipa Mihic, University of ZagrebMirna.gajski@gorica.hr jmihic@erf.hr Review of Prevention and Treatment Programs for Violent Behavior Among Children and Youth Lecture will focus on the main prevention and treatment strategies aimed at reducingviolent behavior among children and youth. Violence is often seen as intractablebecause its prevention is rarely approached with the level of commitment and attentionrequired for long-term success, generation after generation. Violence is in fact preventable, but its prevention requires an investment of resources, people, leadership,and commitment. Keeping that in mind, prevention strategies that we implement canbe classified as the ones which focus on children and youth who express violentbehavior, victims of violence and social context within which violence occurs. Thislecture will provide an overview of promising initiatives and specific programs thathave been identified as successful in reducing violent behavior with special emphasison model and evidence-based programs such as Olweus Bullying Prevention Program,Second Step , Life Skills Training, Anger Coping Program etc. After presenting prevention programs, our lecture will introduce several treatment programs which we find interesting and useful. At its beginnings, treatment of behavior disorders was mostlyinstitutional and till today it has been varied between punishment and therapy. However, now days various treatment programs are trying to include not only child or a young person, but also his/her parents, community, school and neighborhood in the solving ofviolent behavior. Therefore, we can define treatment of behavior disorders among childrenand youth as system of various activities that are focused on achieving positive changesamong children and their community. Working with children and youth who behave violently represents a great challenge for professionals and for children and youth as well.Lately, our society has recognized importance of implementing childrens rights in theireveryday life. In spite of that we are facing difficulty in finding most appropriate approachto solve problems of violent behavior among children and youth. Since we cant possiblypresent all treatment programs which exist in the world, our lecture is directed towards cognitive-behavioral treatment programs, social skill training programs in institution/s andtreatment program of using martial arts in working with children and youth. Kosaka Akiko, MSW - Japan(BSU and UMD graduate)kosakaakiko@hotmail.com Technology and Youth ViolenceKeitai (mobile phone) use become explosively popular among young Japanesepeople in the latter half of 1990s. Nearly 100% of high school students in Japanown keitai. The latest mobile phone is equipped with so many technologies suchas wireless internet service, global positioning system, camera, video camera,music player, and so on. The Japanese youth fully utilize the technologies,particularly internet terminal function as a mode of communication. Through Keitai they send e-mail to their friends, post messages on the bulletin board onThe net, and upload their blog. According to recent government poll high schoolgirls spend on average two hours a day on their keitai, and their male counterpartsclock in at 90 minutes, while many youngsters feel that they can not possiblylive without mobile phone. Because of the mobility of keitai, children can accessinternet sites including harmful ones without presence of parents or responsible adults. Children can be easily lured to harmful sites that contain sexually explicitmaterials, violent motion pictures, and sales of illegal drugs. Although a fewparents try to protect their children by subscribing to filtering system against harmful sites others simply confiscate their childrens keitai. Majority of theparents are grouping around laying down rules about keitais use. Most Japaneseschools ban keitai on campus but fail to acknowledge that students do use it. Both,schools and parents, need to point to the risks of keitai usage and have an opendiscussion of safe keitai use. Dada M. Maglajlic Professor of SRS BSU (Cro/US)dadam@paulbunyan.net Boys Adrift Culture, Identity, Violence The particular human chain were part of is central to our individual identity. Elizabeth StoneThis lecture builds on Dr. Bempah 2007 lecture and his book on socio-genealogicalconnectedness: large number of 21st century children and youth grow up separatedfrom their genetic parents and consequently their genealogical, social and culturalroots. Culture influences every facet of our identity (Samovar at all, 2007). Identityis important to all of us. Culture provides a blueprint, its the road map we live by.Most important facet is valuing oneself in order to value him/herself, young person must first know who s/he is (Oliver & Baugh, 2006). Klopf (2007) distinguishes eightfacets of personal cultural profile, one of which is gender.Enduring cultures of the world provide rootedness, provide a blueprint for growthand development. Unfortunately every week one of the world languages dies andwith it the unique beauty of the culture. Children and youth in USA, Canada, allover Europe and good many other regions of the world grow exposed to virtualworld of media and video-games. According to Dr. Leonard Sax (2007) there arefive factors that drive decline of boys. One of the five factors are video-games, themost detrimental being violent games. External pressures have colonized modern time family. As mentioned in the 2007lecture many kids have lost faith in the ability of adults to protect them from culturerunning of the tracks. In a vicious circle, the less comfort and trust children feel at home, the more they gravitate to so called second family of the peer-group and popculture to meet their needs for a sense of self worth and a feeling of connection. Butthe second family carries its own freight, its own pressures, and its own terrors.Matula Stefan, Palenik Lubomir, Kopanyiova AlenaSlovak Research Institute Bratislava, SlovakiaStefan.Matula@gmail.com National Program Prevention of Aggressive Behavior in SchoolsThis lecture will present a comprehensive report on national program dealing withaggressive behavior in schools, its prevention and different solution. Lecture has threeindependent sections:Matula Stefan, Ph.D.: Slovak national project on management of aggresivity andaggressive conflicts among children and youth in the schoolsPalenik Lubomir, Ph.D.: The concept of prosocial behavior as a methodological basisfor national project dealing with cultivation of aggressivity among children and youthKopanyiova Alena, Ph.D.: Depistage as a tool of effectivity measuring of program oriented on increasing incidence in children population Laura Pavicic St. Anne Shelter Rijeka - Croatialaura.pavicic@ri.t-com.hr Family Violence: A Psychosocial Treatment of VictimsRecent researches show that between 10 to 40% of women have experienced someform of violent behavior from their parents. By violence we mean: physical,psychological, emotional, economical and sexual violence that is mostly directedagainst women and children by their close family members.Republic of Croatia has adopted several important law regulations that are supposedto protect the victims and there are some important measures pronounced andimplemented by the Government. National Policy for Gender Equality, NationalStrategy for Protection from Family Violence and Protocol of Proceedings in Caseof Family Violence. Also, there are many actions taken to raise the family violence awareness with strong support from the media. Counselors in Family Centers,expert teams in Social Welfare Centers and NGO activists are working hard tospread the idea that violence is unacceptable in any form.But once violence had happened something has to be done to protect the victims,mostly women and children. St. Ana shelter is good example how we can help.St. Ana is one of the largest homes for women and children victims of familyviolence established in 1993 by Caritas. Today it is financed both by the Ministryof Health and Social Welfare and donations. Our mission is to provide accom-modation to the victims as well as material, psychological and spiritual support. The main goal is emancipation and independence of women. Expert team (socialworker, pedagogue and psychologist) is implementing the demanding program ofvictims rehabilitation, recovery and empowerment having in mind the basic idea:help the victims to create conditions for independent and fulfilled life that theydeserve. Trish Quistgaard, PsychologistBemidji Area Schools, MN, USAjquistga@paulbunyan.net Bullying in Schools Understanding Bullying and How to Intervene within SchoolsBullying once was regarded as an ordinary part of growing up. However, in recentyears as schools have focused on providing safe and secure environment tomaximize childrens ability to learn and develop, there have been increasing concerns about recognizing, intervening and preventing bullying within schools.What do we know about bullying?To assist us in recognizing bullying, my lecture will review types of bullying andhow bullying develops. The types of victims and the impact of victimization willbe discussed.How can we intervene?To improve the lives of our children, strategies and interventions addressing bulliesand victims have been researched. One level of interventions involves individualinterventions with the victims of bullying. The second level of interventions involvestraining small groups in prosocial and anger control skills. The third level of intervent-ions is a system of school wide approach aimed at the prevention of bullying. Programsaimed at preventing bullying are becoming more prevalent among elementary and middle schools. An overview of these programs and how social workers can take alead role in organizing prevention and interventions will be discussed. Viktorija Pecnikar Oblak, Social WorkerCrisis Center for Children Ljubljana, SloveniaViktorija.pecnikar.oblak@gmail.com Endangered Children Crisis CenterEndangered Children Crisis Center (ECCC) called Shelter House Thumbelina is the firstsuch institution in Slovenia, financed by public resources through Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Affairs. Shelter operates as an independent unit of the Social Work Center (SWC) Grosuplje. Realization of this project is an answer to increasing numberof endangered children in Slovenia. It is also an answer to increasing need for systematicregulation to offer shelter to youngest children that are less than 6 years old. ECCC alsoaccepts older children and juveniles under age eighteen. Because ECCC functions as a pilot project till the end of May 2008, its tasks, rules andactivities are still forming. Endangered children come to ECCC due to different reasons:unsuitable treatment, endangering of their behalf, lack of danger distraction and the like all produced by parents or third person. ECCC always cooperates with competent SWC which takes further steps related to child protection in accordance with Slovenian legislation and related international documents pertaining to child protection. Before ECCC was established, children in crisis situation were placed in foster families orwith their relatives, in hospitals or safe houses and the like, without preliminary solidprofessional arguments. As long as child lives in ECCC, SWC gets more time to find themost suitable solution. In the meantime professionals working at the ECCC are learning more about the childs true feelings, for they are the first specialists in a chain of help in position to observe a child for 24 hours. Its been observed that a certain process happens, which contains different phases of childs internal dynamic like getting to know staff andthe house, accepting their own circumstances, establishing trust with one of the employees,regretting their situation, feeling as a child again, being fearful about his/her future notnecessarily in this sequence. So far these professional observations have been evaluated asvery relevant for SWC decision regarding childs future.From September 2007, when the project started, till the end of April 2008, 17 children wereadmitted to ECCC and lived at the shelter from one day forty-three days, even though the predefined length of stay is three weeks. Keywords: endangered child, shelter, crisis, ECCC, SWC Snezana Repac, MA Psychologist, Belgrade SerbiaCenter for protection of infants, children and youthSerbia ( arakis@medianis.net ) Orphan Childrens Life in Transition: From the Institutionalized to Reinstitutionalized ChidrenAlthough there appears to exist a widespread awareness of the phenomenon of childdevelopment in residential care, particularly following extensive coverage in the media, actual surveys point to the fact that many very different socio-cultural factors play a role in the origin of difficulties we encounter among children in residential care. Spiritual nature of the problem calls for action to abolish and/or avoid existinginstitutions or at least create more appropriate system of residential care within given social care system within the finally new family for an orphaned child.We face a multitude of question/s: it sometimes takes a long time to find adequate foster family, in particular educated specialized family; while waiting for placementchildren are not willing to live in the present, to learn accepting the reality of collectivefamily called home, living with staff who provide high professional standard of care, often much higher than within foster care family. Problem is further complicated by thelack of foster care families, specially quality families with desirable motivation to foster.Placement often does not work out and children have to return to institution. Althoughthere are many burning issues, primary question relates to creation of most favorable developmental circumstance that would meet the needs of the children in transition, children living on the waiting list. Life can not wait This issue has a childrens right component as well. Children demonstrate behaviorswhich resemble abandonment phenomenon pointing to additional responsibilities ofthe professional staff. Several examples from the recent study regarding child/ren abandonment phenomenon will be shared with the Symposium participants as well asexplorations of the modes of helping children as defined by social care and medicalprofessionals. Torill Tjelflaat, DirectorThe Regional Children Protection Research UnitNTNU Social Research, Norway torill.tjelflaat@samfunn.ntnu.no Violence and Sexual Abuse of Children in Norwegian Institutions from 1935 to 1986 Report from an investigating Committee In Norway, many children placed in institutions in the previous century experiencedabuse and neglect while under the care of public authorities. The Norwegian govern- ment issued a white paper in 2004 discussing the living conditions of these children.The government also decided that children exposed to abuse and severe neglect whileunder care were entitled to compensation as adults. Investigation committees wereestablished around the country. I was appointed to the committee for children whohad been placed in care by the city of Trondheim.In my paper, I will present some data from interviews with previously institutionalizedchildren. In the committee, we interviewed 77 people who were under care of the childcare authorities of Trondheim from 1935 to 1986, and placed in institutions, childrens homes and foster homes. I will concentrate on those placed in institutions (65 interviewsincluding multiple placements).Data shows that there was a difference between boys and girls as to the kind and theseriousness of the abuse. All the boys were exposed to severe physical abuse, and manyof them reported serious sexual abuse including sexual violence and rape, mostly fromother residents. Most of the girls also experienced physical abuse, but not as severe asthe boys. They also reported sexual harassment. The physical abuse/violence wasconducted either by staff or other residents. Staff members hit the boys and girls withan open hand, a fist and/or kicked them in different parts of the body. As punishment,the children were locked in small rooms, usually in the basement. The children alsoreported a lack of emotional care and psychological victimization, being called Idiot,Stupid Boy/Girl and Fool. In the presentation I will discuss the findings from the investigation using the conceptof Goffmans total institution, and will ask the question How could this happen, andcan it ever happen again?Odilia van Manen-RojnicNadomak SUNCA Oprtalj, CroatiaOdilia.rojnic@pu.t-com.hr Care Providers and Secondary TraumaThose of us who live and/or work with traumatized children, try to offer them under-standing, patience and a listening ear. By showing empathy, we try to help them findways to overcome the traumatic events of their past.Very often, we are not aware that through our empathy we might internalize theProblems of the children we care for. When this happens, we literally take on the trauma together with its stress and the disorder symptoms. This is called secondarytraumatic stress.Much has been spoken about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the symptomsOf those who have been directly exposed to traumatic events. Until recently, notmuch evidence existed on the stress resulting from helping or wanting to help atraumatized or suffering person. However, we know now that the symptoms ofprimary and secondary trauma can be the same.In this presentation, I will give some examples from foster care practice of howsecondary trauma can be developed, how its symptoms can be recognized andwhat can be done to avoid secondary traumatic stress to develop.