The purpose of this study was to explore youth counselors' perceptions of knowledge, skills and training in residential treatment centers (RTCs). In-person interviews were conducted with 15 youth counselors. Findings indicated that youth counselors came from a variety of educational backgrounds and most reported minimal knowledge of seriously emotionally disturbed youth and felt unprepared to handle youth behaviors. While some received on-the-job training, it primarily focused on crisis and behavior management, and most still reported needing more training on managing high crisis situations and on mental health issues. Youth counselors also noted difficulties with administrators and other staff Suggestions to improve new employee trainings were to prolong the shadowing period and to inform incoming employees of the realities of the position. Collaboration between youth counselors and clinical staff should be increased, so that youth's diagnoses and individualization of treatment are shared and understood. Implications for social work practice are discussed.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 50/01M, Masters Abstracts International|
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