Observations of group care worker-child interaction in residential youth care: Pedagogical interventions and child behaviour

Background The work of group care workers in residential youth care is often described as professional parenting. Pedagogical interventions of group care workers influence the quality of care for looked-after children.

Objective The aim of the current study was to observe the pedagogical interventions of group care workers within residential youth care and their associations with child behaviors.

Methods Group care worker interventions and child behaviors were videotaped during structured observations. Participants included 95 children (64 % boys, Mage = 9.19) and 53 group care workers (74 % female, Mage = 33.79 years). A coding system was developed to code pedagogical interventions and child behaviors.

Results It showed that group care workers mainly used positive pedagogical interventions (warmth/support and positive control) and seldom used negative pedagogical interventions (permissiveness and negative control). Frustration and anger of children was associated with positive controlling interventions and permissiveness of group care workers. The hypothesis that child anxiety and nervousness is associated with warm and supportive interventions could not be confirmed.

Conclusions Pedagogical interventions should be part of education, training, and supervision of group care workers.

Meer publicaties