Home is a comfort to us all, whether it’s because of our family, pets or treasured items. Recreating that sense of home, while trying to address serious behavioural problems, is what residential treatment is all about. When other avenues have been deemed unsuccessful, this option can be a valuable way to help troubled young people develop.
Residential treatment can be separated into two separate categories – group homes and institutions. Child and youth workers are highly valued in these settings as they define and implement structures which these clients have been so often lacking in their daily lives. Here is some useful information on what to expect in this type of work, and what sort of skills are most sought after by employers.
Group Homes and Institutions: The Key Differences
Residential treatment offers full-time services to young people, and is a longer-term option compared to in-patient psychiatric care in a hospital. Group home services are generally offered at normal houses in the community, where a number of young people live together under the supervision of child and youth worker college graduates. Clients usually require long-term mental health support or need to temporarily escape homes which are deemed unsafe. They are encouraged to carry out normal household chores and may also be expected to be in education or employment during their stay.
Institutions, or semi-institutions, are treatment services which involve even higher levels of supervision. Clients in these facilities usually have more serious mental health problems, and the buildings are often situated in more isolated locations. Some rural programs involve young people partaking in farming activities while also going to school.
Common Residential Treatment Duties After You Become a Child and Youth Worker
Every young person deserves the right to have a good childhood, and residential treatment options give them a great chance to experience it. Child and youth workers help to devise household and study routines which develop the right blend of technical and life skills. This could involve assisting them with cooking and cleaning or helping with homework in the evenings. It can be wonderfully rewarding as you see these vulnerable young people develop the confidence to cook meals for others or excel in their studies.
Residential treatment can also include individual, family or group therapy, as child and youth workers seek to address the issues causing a client’s behavioural problems. Positive progress could eventually lead to them returning to their homes, where child and youth workers may still offer ongoing assistance during this transitional phase.
Work With Other Skilled Professionals to Make a Difference in People’s Lives
Young people in residential treatment require a complex range of services. Students in child and youth worker training are comfortable liaising with other trained healthcare professionals to offer ongoing assistance to clients. This could include social workers, teachers, or child psychiatrists, so you won’t feel alone as you’re facing down the challenges associated with this line of work.
Clients can, at times, be resistant to the structures in group homes, and professionals in these environments must be resilient. Effective communication and problem-solving skills are essential as you try to convince young people of the short or long-term merits of each household chore or rule. Nonetheless, many child and youth workers are inspired by the rewarding nature of this work, as they help young people flourish during difficult moments in their lives.
Do you want to become a child and youth worker?
The two-year program at KLC College will get you prepared for this fulfilling career.