Our Profession


A school

In 1965, Vince Wall became the Chief of Child Care Work at Thistletown Hospital. He further developed and refined the Child Care Work training course. In particular, he founded the 'School of Child Care Work. The existence of a building called a School in which the child care worker course could be taught served as a symbol which would make the course more important. Vince also set up a 'qualifying year' in child care work for people who had previous academic or professional training and further defined the two year program. Sixteen courses, each of sixteen weeks duration, were included. All this course work was done on one lecture day per week, in spite of the efforts of the training committee to get two lecture days per week. The demands of treatment were such that the instructors could never get the amount of lecture hours that they felt were really necessary for the training of child care workers.

However, once the course had been defined it could be recreated elsewhere. Soon the very course that was being taught at Thistletown began to be taught at training institutes, other psychiatric hospitals, and centres for disturbed children.

The Children's Psychiatric Research Institute (CPRI), near London, Ontario, opened a unit for emotionally disturbed adolescent boys. Mrs. Arlie Fulop, a graduate Child Care Worker from Thistletown Hospital was instrumental in establishing the Child Care Worker training program at CPRI in the spring of 1966.

In September 1966, under the leadership of Miss Cornish-Bowden as Chairman of the Applied Arts Division at the Provincial Institute of Trade, the first 19 students, all of whom were male and selected by Mr. Lloyd of the Institute, began the program.

In 1967, the Provincial Institute of Trade amalgamated and became George Brown College within the new Ministry of Colleges and Universities. Thus, the first Community College Child Care Work program had started.

Sacred Heart Children's Village hired its first child care worker graduate from Thistletown in September, 1965. In 1966, child care work students were placed there from the Provincial Institute of Trade. In September, 1967, Bill Rowberry, a Thistletown graduate, was hired specifically to establish a child care work training program. The program he developed was modeled after that at Thistletown Hospital, but it also included: Sociology, Economics, Political Science and English.

As more and different kinds of facilities discovered child care work, more child care work training courses developed across the province. Some of the institutions were: Fanshawe College, Centennial College, Royal Ottawa Sanitorium, St. Lawrence College, and the C. M. Hincks Treatment Centre. Fanshawe College in London offered a child care worker training program in 1967 under the direction of the Thistletown child care worker graduate, Mrs. Arlie Fulop who had brought the program from CPRI. Centennial College became a Community College as opposed to being a trade school in 1967. Negotiations started in 1968 to transfer the Sacred Heart training program to Centennial. Under the direction of Gerry Alton at Centennial and Bill Rowberry at Sacred Heart, the transfer was complete in 1969. Centennial included the additional courses of sociology, economics, political science, English, and intensive group work. Otherwise, the Centennial program was similar to the early program of Thistletown Hospital as had been the program at Sacred Heart.

In 1968, the Royal Ottawa Sanitorium started training child care workers. Dr. A. Lamberti, Dr. B. E. Curtis, Dr. S. J. Shamsie, Robert Benner, Child Care Worker (Thistletown), and Dean Tower, M.S.W., were some of the people first involved. Also in 1968, St. Lawrence College, Kingston established a child care worker program. This was a direct result of a brief from Sunnyside Children's Centre which proposed the program.

The C. M. Hincks Treatment Centre, Toronto, opened in the fall of 1967 to provide service for emotionally disturbed children, adolescents and families. Both a day care and residential program were established for adolescent boys and girls. The Centre was and is directed by Dr. Angus Hood. Alec Anderson, Lorraine Hutchings, Joel Shapiro and Udo Soltkhan, all child care work graduates of Thistletown Hospital formed part of the initial team. In January, 1968, the child care worker training program was established. The program was designed upon the format of the Thistletown Hospital training model.

Beginning early in 1968, numerous governmental committees were struck, one replacing the other, to assume the task of regulating Child Care Worker, Training Programs. The first such committee concluded that the academic instruction offered at the eight centres considered (three colleges, two private mental health centres and three psychiatric hospitals), was comparable but that the degree and kind of supervised clinical ex-perience probably varied. At the same time the committee recognized that an independent agency should be formed to set standards, to accredit training centres, and to issue certificates that would recognize competence to practice, and which would be provided in addition to rather than in place of the diplomas granted by the training institutions.

The Laidlaw Foundation Workshop on Child Care Work Training which took place in October of 1968 was a very significant event which aided in the confirmation and recognition of child care work. Its purpose was to explore the training of child care workers and to discuss where it was going and how it could best get there.

Early in 1969, partly sparked by the Laidlaw Foundation Workshop on Child Care Worker Training, the Minister of Education formed the 'Provincial Advisory Committee for Human Wellbeing Courses in the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAATS)'. In November of 1971, the 'Human Wellbeing Committee', as it was called, recommended the establishment of a separate Provincial Advisory Committee on Child Care Worker Programs in CAATS (ad hoc) to 'advise the Council of Regents, the Applied Arts and Technology Branch, and the Colleges . . .' and to receive information and coordinate the output of information in relation to province wide development in the field of child care work'.

A major role which this committee played was to preside over the 'separation', as it was called, of 'training and treatment'. Les Webber, the Chief of Child Care Work (1969 — late 1972), at what had come to be called Thistletown Regional Centre, was strongly in favor of this change for several reasons. Primarily, it would eliminate the conflict between education and direct service which had continually plagued the training of child care workers. Along with the move to the colleges, it was planned that within Thistletown and other centres, a change in the supervisory structure would insure excellence in fieldwork placement practice and supervision. Thus while Thistletown was still training its own students, it began to accept students on placement from George Brown College and later from Humber College. Between 1969 and 1971, Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital, C. M. Hincks Treatment Centre, Royal Ottawa Hospital and Thistletown Regional Centre, all accepted the last of their own groups of students, phasing out their training programs and giving way to the Community College system.

This committee (later called the Provincial Consultative Committee on Child Care Worker programs in CAATS), has also been instrumental in defining the role, skills and need for the child care worker. The Committee determined that all emerging and approved child care worker programs would have the same 'core curriculum'.

Having done this, the Committee then moved forward on establishing eight more child care worker training programs. Mohawk College, Hamilton, and Brockville campus of St. Lawrence College, Kingston, started child care worker programs in 1970; Algonquin College, Ottawa, and Humber College, Toronto, in 1971; Cambrian College, Sudbury in 1972; Sault Ste. Marie in 1973; and Northern College, South Porcupine and St. Clair College, Windsor, started in 1974. Many additional colleges came to offer training which were eventually identified as Child and Youth Worker Programs