Exploring the experiences of current and former child and youth care workers in therapeutic residential care programs

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Brennan, Zoë L. B.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
Turnover among child and youth care workers (CYCWs) has been a consistent problem for therapeutic residential care (TRC) programs. Previous studies show this turnover may be linked to the many challenges residential CYCWs encounter such as client violence, the demands of the role, low wages, burnout, etc. Such studies are primarily quantitative and only surveyed current residential CYCWs. In the present study, both current and former residential CYCWs participated in semi-structured interviews. An evolved grounded theory approach was utilized to uncover a better understanding the experiences of residential CYCWs and explore the factors associated with their decisions to remain in or leave this role. Analysis of the ten participants’ interviews yielded seven major themes nested in the core social process category: caring. These results formed a theoretical model for understanding the experiences of residential CYCWs.
child and youth care workers , therapeutic residential care , work environment challenges , staff experiences , staff turnover , staff burnout , retention , support , job satisfaction