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Academy for Competent Youth Work© 2013

 

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The CYC: Basic Course is a 40-hour training that introduces entry level practitioners to basic concepts and skills in professional child and youth care.  The classes are based on competencies for entry level practice included in CYC Certification Institute and national CYC certification credentialing requirements.  These competencies represent concepts important to work in any of the major practice settings in the field,   Participation in the course helps prepare students for successful careers  working with children and youth and for certification testing.

Academy regional programs offer individuals and organizations local access to high-quality, cost effective vocational training.  The 40-hour course has been shown to be beneficial to new workers but is intended as a supplement to existing in-agency orientation programs.  The CYC: Basic Course will be followed by additional courses designed to extend theoretical understanding and skill development from basic concepts to more complex practices. 

The CYC: Basic Course is eight 5-hour classes that cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to Professional CYC Practice
  • Professional Ethics and Regulation
  • Guidance Techniques
  • Assessment and Documentation
  • Communication
  • Developmentally Based Programming
  • Relationship Building
  • Group Work
  • Activity Development and Leadership
  • Supervising Children and Youth
  • Cultural Diversity

Classes are designed using an experiential format that supports adult learning needs.  Course participants receive class manuals for each session.  Post-training testing, using the entry-level certification test, is included as part of the course (for no additional cost).

Entry-level certification testing is included in the course through a special arrangement with the CYC Certification Institute.  Testing is offered as part of the course cost.  Participants who pass the exam and wish to become certified must complete the certification application form, submit the required documentation and pay a $50 application processing fee to the CYC Certification Institute.  For more information, visit the Institute’s website  www.CYCcertification.org

Overall Course Objectives*:

The learning outcomes for the overall CYC: Basic Course are:

  • increased awareness, understanding, and sensitivity to how children and youth develop.
  • increased understanding of and capacity to engage in empowering interactions.
  • increased understanding of and capacity to work within and across systems (teams, families, cultures, and communities).
  • enlarged repertoire of activities and techniques for engaging youth in interactions and activities that will help them to develop skills essential to becoming independent.
  •  increased capacity (understanding and skill) to discipline youth and resolve crises.
  •  increased awareness of careers in child and youth care and the fundamentals of  professional practice.
  • increased ability to take and pass the CYC Entry-level Certification Examination.

*Reproduced from A Curriculum Guide for Working with Youth: an interactive approach prepared by Mark Krueger, Laura Galovits, Quinn Wilder, and Mary Pick for Dewitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund BEST Initiative. 

Course Topic Areas and Learning Objectives (by session):

Session # 1  Professional Practice

  • Group work / Activity Leadership: Forming stageProfessional Practice
  • Introduction to certification testing
  • Requirements to be a profession
  • Definition of CYC field of practice
  • Definition of professional ethics
  • Sources of CYC values and beliefs
  • Major resistances to ethics discussions
  • Primary functions of a code of ethics
  • Structure of a code of ethics
  • Process of ‘doing ethics’
  • Ethics as positive practice
  • Ethics case development
  • Analysis of ethical dilemmas using ethics code
  • Overview of professional practices
  • Teamwork
  • Feedback
  • Introduction to Standards of Practice for North American Child and Youth Care Professionals
  • Boundaries
  • Professional opinion
  • Child abuse reporting

 Upon completion of training, students will be able:

  • To identify key characteristics of a profession and the elements that connect practice settings in Child and Youth Care.
  • To identify the major practice settings in Child and Youth Care.
  • To discuss the current status of  the Child and Youth Care  as a profession.
  • To identify laws, conventions, and standards which regulate Child and Youth Care Practice.
  • To recognize the definition of professional ethics in Child and Youth Care.
  • To recognize the relationship of professional ethics to laws, regulations, and personal morality.
  • To recognize major reasons for resistance to ethics discussion in Child and Youth Care.
  • To recognize the primary functions of a professional code of ethics.
  • To recognize the major content areas included in the Code of Ethics for Child and Youth Care Professionals.
  • To recognize statements taken from the Code of Ethics for Child and Youth Care Professionals. 
  • To recognize the scope and function of the Code of Ethics for Child and Youth Care Professionals.
  • To recognize the structure of a professional code of ethics.
  • To recognize steps in the process of  “doing” professional ethics.
  • To identify a variety of ethics interventions.
  • To practice ethics discussion.
  • To develop case material in ethics for the Association for Child and Youth Care Practice.

Session #2  Relationships

  • Group work / Activity Leadership: Forming stageRelationships
  • Importance of relationships to CYC practice
  • How relationships facilitate growth and learning
  • Exploration of what people want from relationships
  • Relationship boundaries and professional limits
  • Empowering interactions
    • Being with youth
    • Contexts
    • Presence
    • Rhythmic interactions
    • Dependability and predictability
    • Listen and reinforce
    • Rich menu of activities
    • Purpose and meaning
    • Cognitive, social, physical and emotional development
  • How youth tell us they are having problems engaging in relationships
  • Interpersonal response styles of distrust
  • Stages of relationship development

Upon completion of training, students will:

  • Have a better understanding of  the role and importance of relationships in human development and CYC practice.
  • Understand how relationships facilitate growth and learning.
  • Have increased ability to access information about boundaries and apply appropriate boundaries to professional relationships.
  • Recognize empowering interactions and the components that tend to increase their occurrence..
  • Recognize the four (4) primary styles of distrust that youth use to shield themselves from relationships.
  • Recognize a variety of ways that youth let others know they are having problems with relationships.
  • Recognize the four (4) stages of relationship development and apply them to better understand how a relationship with another person is evolving. 
  • Understand how the stages of relationship development and the stages of group development inter-relate.
  • Identify typical behavior, useful leadership approaches, and types of
    activities that are helpful to groups in the ‘forming’ stage.

Session #3  Communication Group work / Activity Leadership: Performing stageCommunication

  • What do we want to communicate about ourselves to
  • youth?
  • Embedded messages
  • Two essential messages
  • Self-esteem building
  • What is your typical response?
  • Dirty Dozen
  • Communication skills that work better
  • What do we want communication to accomplish?
  • What are some of the ways we communicate?
    • Body language
    • Para-verbal
    • Verbal
  • Impact of typical communication
  • Door openers
  • Minimal encouragers
  • Active listening
    • Parroting and paraphrasing
    • Reflecting feelings and intent
    • Effective active listening
    • I message formats
  • Reframing
    • Role of views
    • Goals of reframing
    • Reframing techniques

Upon completion of training, students will:

  • Have an increased awareness of the messages typically embedded in their communication with young people.
  • Understand how CYCs support self-esteem development by encouraging competence and accomplishment.
  • Recognize the impact of communication roadblocks and the embedded messages they send.
  • Be aware of a variety of communication strategies that encourage effective communication.
  • Be able to formulate ‘I’ messages and effective directives to communicate needs to children, youth and families.
  • Be able to develop a variety of reframing techniques to reshape meaning and perception.
  • Recognize the importance of body language and para-verbal communication in effective communication.
  • Be able to use a variety of active listening strategies to improve communication. Identify typical behavior, useful leadership approaches, and types of activities that are helpful to groups in the ‘storming and norming’ stages of group development.

Session #4  Documentation

  • Group work / Activity Leadership: Storming/Norming stagesDocumentation
  • Purposes of documentation
  • Methods for improving observations and documentation
  • Roadblocks to accurate memory recall
  • Covering documentation basics
  • Observation exercises using Leon Fulcher’s IMAGES CD
    • What did you see?
    • What did you hear?
    • What do you think about what you’ve seen and heard?
    • How do you feel about this person, their story, and circumstances?
    • What would you do next, or recommend to a supervisor at the end of  this encounter?
  • Documentation tips for improving accuracy
  • General rules of professional communication

Upon the completion of training, participants will be able to:

  • Observe and record information about youth and their families in a non-judgmental manner for use in planning and carrying out programming.
  • Base assessment of youth and families on direct observation of behavior, collected over a period of  time.
  • Be aware of the impact of personal bias (e.g., cultural, ethnic, age, racial, gender) on observation and assessment and use team members and others to balance perceptions.
  • Know how and when to use a variety of observation and assessment strategies (e.g., anecdotal records, observations of play, daily living, and structured tasks, child self-assessments, observations of the child outside of the service delivery setting).
  • Know and use methods for enhancing accurate memory of events.
  • Discriminate between relevant and non-relevant material, given a specific documentation goal.
  • Identify and eliminate distortions from written and spoken information.
  • Discriminate between objective statement (what is seem or heard) and subjective statements (opinions, impressions, judgments and conclusions)
  • Protect confidentiality by using initials in documents as appropriate to the setting and type of documentation.
  • Use black or blue ink when making entries in legal documents. 
  • Use non-judgmental and objective language.
  • Report observations clearly, accurately, thoroughly, concisely, and behaviorally  as appropriate to the documentation application.
  • Use single line and initials to change incorrect entries.
  • Fill in all parts of a form inserting single lines or N/A to fill spaces where no entries are made.
  • Use observations, impressions, and conclusions accurately and as appropriate to the recording application. 
  • Use standard grammatical, punctuation, and spelling practices, and avoid the use of jargon.

Session #5-6  Guidance

  • Group work / Activity Leadership: Storming/Norming stagesGuidence
  • Goals of guidance
  • Developing a plan of action
  • Hierarchy of program focus
  • Ten laws of intervention programs
  • Process of adaptation (Piaget)
  • Zone of Proximal Development (Lev Vygotsky)
  • What drives behavior?
  • Escalation cycle
  • Emotional Ist Aid Techniques
  • Impact of nonverbal and para-verbal communication
  • Using effective directives
  • Responses if escalation continues
  • When is a physical intervention necessary?
  • Goals of tension reduction
  • 4-step Behavior Counseling Model

Upon the completion of training, participants will be able to:

  • Develop an intervention plan that takes into consideration both short- and long-term developmental needs.
  • Identify interventions that support the development of self-control and self-
    management.
  • Modify interventions to accommodate differing ages, developmental needs and emotional  temperatures.
  • Describe how Piaget’s Process of Adaptation and Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal
    Development guide CYC practice and describe learning needs of youth.
  • Understand the escalation cycle, the relationship of need satisfaction to behavioral escalation, and the importance of using interventions that match the emotional escalation level.
  • Choose an intervention that meets youth’s needs in the least restrictive manner.
  • Identify a wide range of emotional first aid techniques and their strengths and
    limitations.
  • Formulate effective behavioral directives and recognize the impact of non-verbal communication in guidance situations.
  • Identify under what circumstances a physical intervention is necessary.
  • Identify the 4-steps in the Behavioral Counseling Model, the goals of each step, and tips to increase successes. 
  • Identify typical behavior, useful leadership approaches, and types of activities that are helpful to groups in the “Performing” stage of group development.

Session #7  Developmental Practice

  • Group work / Activity Leadership: Adjoining stageDevelopmental Practice
  • Working from a developmental perspective
                Promoting optimal development
                Average life expectancy
                Major developmental theories
                How do maturation and learning impact            development?
                Development as a gradual building process
                Differences between children and adults
                Periods of development
  • Erickson’s Psycho-Social Stages
  • Developmental domains
                Development as an integrated process
                Developmentally appropriate practice
  • Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model
                Family molds the child
                Factors affecting development
  • Bonding cycle
  • Cultural diversity fundamentals
  • Applying developmental principles to practice
  • Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • Structure
                Programs
                Rules
                Routines
                Activities
  • Supervision of youth
                Supervising for safety
                Risk assessment
                Decision making
                Transferring supervision
                Basic vs. special needs supervision
                Adequate supervision vs. elevated supervision levels
  • Professional practices
                Teamwork
                Boundaries
                Professional opinion
                Child abuse reporting
  • Course content review game
  • Post-training testing using Entry level
  • Certification Exam

Upon the completion of training, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the centrality of applied developmental theory to professional CYC practice with an awareness of the strengths and limitations involved.
  • Understand the contributions of major developmental theorists and the application of their theories to daily practice.
  • Recognize the major developmental domains, stages of development,  and significant developmental milestones as they relate to maturation and learning.
  • Use an ecological perspective to understand the impact of family, community, and society on human development.
  • Include the 40-developmental assets when planning programs for youth.
  • View the components of a typical child care environment from a developmental perspective.
  • Report child abuse to the proper authorities using required reporting procedures.
  • Develop supervision plans based on the situational and developmental needs of children and youth. 
  • Identify fundamental concepts of cultural diversity.
  • Use relationships, teamwork and supervision to improve practice skills.
  • Identify professional practice boundaries relating to relationships and legal 
    responsibilities.
  • Identify typical behavior, useful leadership approaches, and types of activities
    that are helpful to groups in the “Adjoining” stage of group development.

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