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Ethics, Professionalism and Your Career in Child & Youth Support and Care

By January 18, 2024No Comments
Child & Youth Support

In embracing a career as a child and youth care with addictions support worker, you have the profound opportunity to enter into the world of a young person when they are at their most vulnerable. In your work, you will listen, encourage, guide, mentor, and support them as they face their deepest fears and challenges and celebrate the tiny and grand milestones as they overcome, and achieve their heartfelt desires to heal and thrive in life.

How you conduct yourself, who you are, sets a powerful example for these impressionable children and youth as they make their way. This incredibly influential and rewarding career requires you to be the best, most dedicated, courageous, kind, ethical professional you can be.

Within your addictions support worker program/youth service worker course you will take an in-depth look at precisely what it takes to excel within this profession. But if you are looking to become a family support worker, understanding the scope of the practice, and your ethical and professional responsibilities, may assist you in making an informed decision about your future career.

A BRIEF OVERVIEW* – “Code of Ethics” ~ Council of Canadian Child & Youth Care Associations


The Scope of Child and Youth Care Practice

“Child and youth care practitioners work with children, youth and families with complex needs. … [They] specialize in the development and implementation of therapeutic programs and planned environments and the utilization of daily life events to facilitate change. At the core of all effective child and youth care practice is a focus on the therapeutic relationship; the application of theory and research about human growth and development to promote the optimal physical, psycho-social, spiritual, cognitive, and emotional development of young people towards a healthy and productive adulthood; and a focus on strengths and assets rather than pathology.”

The Essential Role of “The Code of Ethics” for Child and Youth Care

“Each professional has the responsibility to strive for high standards of professional conduct. This includes a commitment to the centrality of ethical concerns for Child and Youth Care practice, concern with one’s own professional conduct, encouraging ethical behavior by others, and consulting with others on ethical issues.”

Areas of Responsibility

To the Self

  • Maintains competency, high standards of professional conduct, and physical and emotional well-being.

To the Client

  • Above all, shall not harm.
  • Provides expertise and protection.
  • Recognizes professional responsibility and advocates in the client’s best interest.
  • Ensures services are sensitive to and non-discriminatory of clients.
  • Recognizes and respects client’s expectations and life patterns.
  • Recognizes that there are differences in the needs of children, youth, and families.
  • Recognizes need for collaboration and cooperation with experts.
  • Includes client’s family members and community in services provided.
  • Foster client’s self determination.
  • Respects privacy.
  • Ensures boundaries between professional and personal relationships with clients and acts accordingly.

Responsibility to the Employer/Employing Organization

  • Treats colleagues with respect, courtesy, fairness, and good faith.
  • Relates to the clients of colleagues with professional consideration.
  • Respects the commitments made to the employer/employing organization.

Responsibility to the Profession

  • Recognizes that in situations of professional practice the standards in this code shall guide the resolution of ethical conflicts.
  • Promotes ethical conduct by members of the profession.
  • Encourages collaborative participation by professionals, client, family and community to share responsibility for client outcomes.
  • Ensures that research is designed, conducted, and reported in accordance with high quality Child and Youth Care practice, and recognized standards of scholarship, and research ethics.
  • Ensures that education and training programs are competently designed and delivered.
  • Ensures that administrators and supervisors lead programs in high quality and ethical practice in relation to clients, staff, governing bodies, and the community.

Responsibility to Society

  • Contributes to the profession in making services available to the public.
  • Promotes understanding and facilitates acceptance of diversity in society.
  • Demonstrates the standards of this Code with students and volunteers.
  • Encourages informed participation by the public in shaping social policies and institutions.

*Please note this is simply an overview. See the full “Code of Conduct” for essential details.

If you are considering an assistant youth worker program/mental health support worker program and working with children, youth and their families, these are the principles and standards that will guide you in your practice. In following this framework in your profession, and in your life, you will not only enrich the lives of those individuals and families you serve, but your own.

Still considering whether this is the profession for you? Take the “Anderson College Child & Youth Care with Addictions Support Worker Discovery Quiz”.

When you’re ready to learn more about your Child & Youth Care with Addictions Support Worker career, we’re here to help you navigate your way. Book a virtual appointment with our Admissions team to join the next class!

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