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May 21 , 2013

The Anthropology of Child and Youth Care Work

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Overview

The Anthropology of Child and Youth Care Work presents and illustrates an anthropological model of child and youth care work and explores the associated benefits of such an approach. Author Rivka A. Eisikovits’model enhances workers’on-the-job effectiveness with clients and co-workers and improves intra- and inter-organizational communication with other human service providers. This book prepares child and youth care providers, educators, researchers, administrators, consultants, supervisors, and organizers to become change-sensitive, process-oriented observers, analysts, and co-designers of the systems within which they function and those with which they interact, such as families, communities, and referral agencies.

The model presented in The Anthropology of Child and Youth Care Work offers readers an organic continuum between everyday work experience and conceptual practice, organizing such haphazard events into a systemized body of knowledge. Although providing specific skills, it is more than a technology – it is a humanistic worldview from which a humanistic practice philosophy can be derived. Specific points of this philosophy that child and youth care professionals learn about include:
  • the cultural learning theory
  • ethnographic inquiry and description
  • staff-client relations
  • the sick-role trap
  • microcultural events in residential settings
  • the relationship between treatment and education subsystems
  • a heuristic approach to service delivery
  • family cultural ethnography for cultural sensitization

    Eisikovits’anthropologic perspective broadens the horizons of child and youth care work and equips practitioners to transcend narrowly drawn organizational boundaries. By presenting caregivers as cultural translators between their clients and various decision-making forums, The Anthropology of Child and Youth Care Work prepares them to face the challenges of a dynamic emergent profession and helps them perform successfully in a rapidly changing social context that requires constant assessment of needs and evaluation of performance.
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