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Appendix 3 New Worker Training & Refreshers

Description:

A mandatory two week training course required of all direct service staff hired to work in residential care settings such as group care and foster care support, including full time workers, part time workers, relief or casual workers and workers hired to perform one to one supervision under Special Rate Agreements. The New Worker training certificate must be completed prior to deployment in any residential care setting, and a biennial (every two years) two day refresher course must be completed thereafter.

Purpose:

To ensure that all workers involved in residential care provision are informed by and committed to working from an empathy-based perspective that is framed by the theoretical and practice elements of relational practice, life space intervention, ethical decision-making and child and youth participation, engagement and rights.

Structure:

The New Worker training course is to be delivered by the post-secondary education sector in partnership with the field. It is critical that the course be neither delivered nor owned by the field or any agency within residential care systems across sectors. Instead, the course must be delivered by the post-secondary education sector with a focus on child and youth care practice in particular, as the most relevant conceptual and practice elements envisioned for excellence in residential services are elements of the discipline of child and youth care practice.

Ontario’s post-secondary education sector offers 22 diploma and two degree programs in Child and Youth Care Practice, geographically spread across the province with excellent capacity to deliver such training, where applicable in partnership with institutional continuing education units (for example, the Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University). It is envisioned that the training course is available to newly hired practitioners at least once per month at an institution at reasonable distance to the new employee.

The cost of such course should not exceed $500 per person, and residential service providers should be responsible for cost-sharing this cost at a minimum 50/50 split with prospective employees who do not yet have such certification. Certification is transferable across employers and sectors. Employers can create more competitive recruitment strategies by covering the full cost of the course.

Sample Curriculum:

The ten-day curriculum is envisioned to include the following elements:

  1. Understanding the context of young people placed in residential care

  2. Empathy and the development of Self

  3. Relational practice – theory

  4. Relational practice – practice elements

  5. Life-space intervention

  6. Children’s rights and child and youth participation / engagement

  7. Unique cultural, identity and lifestyle contexts

  8. Ethical decision-making, the use of supervision, team work

  9. Crisis Intervention certification

Refresher training:

A two day training program every two years, with a curriculum that captures the core elements of the New Worker training but seeks to incorporate the practice experiences of workers in order to bring the concepts of the new worker training to life.