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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220619 Find in a Library
Title: Maintaining Cultural Integrity in Residential Treatment
Journal: Residential Treatment for Children & Youth  Volume:22  Issue:4  Dated:2005  Pages:15-31
Author(s): Don Pazaratz Ed.D.
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 17
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The founder of Warren Youth Services in Calgary, Alberta (Canada)--a coeducational program that serves only Inuit youth--discusses issues related to cross-cultural residential programming for youth whose cultural backgrounds differ significantly from that of their host culture.
Abstract: Cross-cultural residential placement of children and adolescents requires attention to the characteristics of the youths' culture of origin, so that the delivery of treatment services is aware of and sensitive to their way of life. This involves communicating respect for the traditions, symbols, values, norms, and worldview of their culture of origin, as well as their family connections. When a youth is referred to residential treatment, his/her problem behaviors are assessed in terms of the distinctive backgrounds, behaviors, and needs of the youth. This includes an assessment of the cultural and environmental factors in which the youth's values and behaviors emerged. Many have experienced difficult home situations and often felt rejected or abandoned. Common to many of the youth is the diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Adjustment issues include the nature of the referral problem, cultural diversity, English as a second language, and the potential for discrimination generally experienced by Aboriginal people. Staff concentrates on using words and concepts that youth understand, so as to reduce confusion and stress. Staff also learns about youths' perspectives by listening carefully to their feedback, questions, and responses, as well as observing their behaviors. A staff member's attitude toward the ethnic heritage of a youth may be the most important variable in the youth-staff relationship. 41 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile residential treatment centers
Index Term(s): Aborigines; Canada; Cross-cultural training; Cultural influences; Foreign correctional facilities; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Juvenile Corrections/Detention
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