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Learning by Working
Learning by Working
Learning by Working
Learning by Working
Learning by Working
Learning by Working
Learning by Working
Learning by Working
Learning by Working
Learning by Working
Learning by Working
Learning by Working
Learning by Working
Learning by Working
Learning by Working
Learning by Working
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Learning by Working

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This paper reviews my First Exposure to Finnish Professional Life in Louhela Day Care Centre. And additionally elaborates the Finnish Child care system.

This paper reviews my First Exposure to Finnish Professional Life in Louhela Day Care Centre. And additionally elaborates the Finnish Child care system.

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  • 1. P age |1 LEARNING BY WORKING First Exposure to Finnish Professional Life in Louhela Day Care Centre. PLACEMENT REPORT 4th August 2009 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Practical placement report submitted by Sudip Joshi to: Degree programme in social services (DSS C25) DIACONIA UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES Järvenpääntie 640, 04400, JÄRVENPÄÄ FINLAND Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org
  • 2. P age |2 CONTENTS 1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………...3 2 Understanding the environment........... ...............................................3 2.1 Child Care Services in Finland 2.2 Working Skeleton of Day Care Centre 2.3 Interaction of Different Actors 3 Fragile Foundations……………………………………………………….10 4 Personal Professional Developments and Learning………………...13 5 Lists of Reference………………………………………………………….16 Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org
  • 3. P age |3 1 Introduction This report is written in account of the placement done in Louhela Settlementi Kindergarten during week 16 to week 19. The report will thoroughly discuss the placement environment, a case study during the work, personal and professional development which will also be followed by the learning from Finnish child care and welfare system. 2 Understanding the Environment Louhela Kindergarten stands at the heart of Jarvenpaa city along the Jarvenpaa- Helsinki railway track in the Manilantie Street. Established as one of the three first day cares of Southern Finland in 1952 AD, it has been a greater assistance in the welfare of the state till today. The day care supposedly started in late 50s and has been a great help to the working parents of Jarvenpaa till today. This day care has already passed its silver years of establishment and with its growing year this has always been a first priority for the parents. Louhela day care is run by Louhela Settlementi, which is a private sector. Louhela Settlementi was established in the 18th century in London by a priest on the grounds of Christian religion and for Christians but today it has no influences from any religion, beliefs and culture. However, the values coming from Christianity to take care of the weaker is a strong foundation still today. This kindergarten is solely a private Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org
  • 4. P age |4 sector however, the government has been buying service from it since the establishment. This phenomenon exhibits the visible picture of welfare mix in Finland and this concept is growing rapidly every day. Looking at the recent figures, Jarvenpaa municipality pays Euro six hundred fifty thousand per annum to this day care. The day care has been constantly growing bigger with its service and the number of children being enrolled is increasing as well. It has shown a steady progress by increasing its day care groups and enrolling more professionals. This institution aims to provide quality day care to the children and to up bring them with proper biological, cognitive and psychological development. When it started in 50’s, there were 2 groups comprising 30 children and 5 workers. Today there are four groups consisting of 21 children and 3 workers in each. 2.1 Child Care Services in Finland A law with far-reaching effects was the 1973 Child Day Care Act, which stipulated that all local governments were to provide good child day care for all families that desired it. The care for children up to seven years of age could be given either in day-care centers, sometimes private but generally run by local governments, or by accredited baby-sitters, either at the child's home or outside it. Although the number of places for day care had more than doubled by the mid-1980s, it would have had to double again to meet total needs. A 1985 law set the goal of being able to allow, by 1990, all parents of children up to the age of three the choice between home-care payments or a place for their child in a day-care center. One parent could also take unpaid employment leave until the child's third birthday. Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org
  • 5. P age |5 The Child Welfare Act of 1983 enjoined local governments to look after children, and it empowered them to take a variety of measures if a child was being seriously neglected or abused. (The library of congress- country studies.) Similarly, the act on Children’s Day Care has provided a framework for the implementation of day care. The Act clearly defines the physical setting for the provision of day care and the educational objectives. According to the act the objectives of day care promote the balanced development of children together with their parents. For its part, day care shall provide children with safe and warm relationships; activities supporting children's development in a versatile manner, as well as a favorable growth environment based on individual children's circumstances. Well-educated and multi-disciplinary staff is one of the strengths of the Finnish day care system. The staff in day care centers is required to have at least a secondary-level degree in the field of social welfare and health care. One in three of the staff must have a post-secondary level degree (Bachelor of Education, Master of Education or Bachelor of Social Sciences). The adult-child ratio in day care centers is one to seven for 3-6-year-olds and one to four for children under the age of three in full-time day care. When arranging part-time day care the ratio for 3-6-year-olds is one to thirteen and for children under three the ratio is the same as in full-time care. (Early childhood education and care in Finland.) Summarizing the child act, it ensured each child with proper care required during its development.1 1 ECEC; Early Childhood Education and care, Finland Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org
  • 6. P age |6 2.2 Working Skeleton of Day Care Centre The day care is managed by group of professionals who have sound knowledge on child care and child social work. The workers are divided into different groups of children. This group is divided in accordance to different age bar and in regard of the proper care these children require. These groups comprise 21 children and 3 workers in each which comes in accordance to the day care law introduced in 1970 (Day care law 1970). In addition, the day care has employed a nurse to meet the needs of emergency primary medical assistance if required. These numbers of children are merely head count but also accounting the proper care it would require in different age categories. A child under the age of 1 year is equivalent to 3 head counts and a child within the age limit 1 to 2 years is counted as 2 head counts. By doing so, each child is offered adequate care during their development. The day care groups are further sub divided as three day care groups and a preschool group. As I had my placement with the ordinary day care groups, the preschool group will not be discussed in this report. The working day in this day care is 12 hours, starting from 6 am till 6 pm. These working hours are adjusted to meet the need of majority of the parent who work in Helsinki, who either leave early to work or return late from work. For the first two hours, the children are gathered in one common room. The idea is to allow the children to interact and socialize with other children from different groups. Then they are separated for their respective groups. The feeding habit of children are a routine, they are fed with breakfast at 0800hrs in the morning, the lunch at 1130 hrs and again at 1500 hrs after their bed rest in the afternoon. Similarly, the day care has a good understanding in the Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org
  • 7. P age |7 psychological and cognitive development of the children. Early in the morning the children have an interactive discussion about the general timeline which includes, time, day, date, month and year. They are taught to recite and identify the names, words and numbers. The process includes the usage of pictures, symbols and mnemonics which help the cognitive understanding of these children. More to this, the recreational activities are conducted both indoors and outdoors. When it is indoor activities, the children are provided with interactive games, drawings and puzzles with pictures and words. This seemed to be a scientific way to help the child develop psychologically building their reasoning and identifying skills. While, these children enjoyed outdoor recreation two times a day each of 1 hour duration. Children have biological need to sleep adequate hours during the day time and the day care has properly included this requisite also in its routine. The whole events are closely monitored, supervised and evaluated by the workers. In overall, the day care has helped the child develop properly during its stay there. 2.3 Interaction of Different Actors The day care is officially bound to the Jarvenpaa municipality as it is supported by the government directly despite its private nature of organization. The beautiful fact of welfare mix in Finland is the process where these private organizations are financially and professionally supported by the state. The actions and decisions regarding children are closely watched by the government. The day care is responsible to identify the problems and need of the children, while the decisions are only taken by the social workers with the consultation of day care workers. The social workers represent the state and work indoors in the Jarvenpaa city Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org
  • 8. P age |8 office. But when doing so, the whole process includes the opinion and situation of the parent as well. It is an important part to equally include parent in all these progress.The parents (guardians) bear the main responsibility for the upbringing of their children. Public ECEC services support the parents in the upbringing of the child. 2Parents and workers work together as partners to support the child's growth, development and learning. This partnership is characterized by interaction on equal terms, combining the expertise and knowledge of both the parents and the staff. Parents participate in their child's ECEC and in the planning and assessment of activities. An individual educational plan is made for every child as a basis for co-operation between the day care service and parents. (Early childhood education and care in Finland.) Furthermore, any assistance or help for the child is always a blend effort of the day care, the parent and the state, so these all institutions can be termed as partners in their work. Day Care (worker) State Parent Fig: Diagram illustrating partners in child work Moreover, the existing day cares in Jarvenpaa are linked together with a common network where they discuss and share different issues and ideas. This has been a useful platform for learning and enhancement of these institutions. The common baseline of this network is to work for the better services and support for the children. Referring to the statement from one of the workers, children are the pillar of this nation so; they have to shape them with proper care and culture. The 2 ECEC; Early Childhood Education and care, Finland Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org
  • 9. P age |9 role of the day care in Finland comprises care, education and teaching to support children's balanced growth, development and learning (Ministry of social affairs and health). They are also equally responsible for child guidance and family counseling alike the social workers representing the state. On the next half, the state or the social workers representing the state are responsible for the child welfare and in decision making regarding different cases. Child welfare is divided into preventive child welfare services and child and family specific services. A key role in prevention is played by municipal maternity and child health clinics, child guidance and family counseling clinics, day care, schools, youth work, and family centers that assemble family services. Child protection directed at children and families becomes applicable in municipal social work when  a child welfare report has been made about a child  there is an application for child welfare service  a child welfare worker has otherwise received information that a child is in need of protection Urgent needs assessments are made immediately. In other cases, social workers have seven days to evaluate whether needs assessment is necessary. In addition, children may be taken into care and placed in foster care with a foster family or foster home. Municipalities have to compile plans for the promotion of child welfare and the organization and development of child welfare and protection. (Ministry of social affairs and health.) It is visible that the child care in Finland has been possible with the interrelated roles and responsibilities of these different actors. Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org
  • 10. P a g e | 10 3 Fragile Foundations This child whom I am particularly focusing for my case study is a boy of 4 years. His name is Petri (changed name) and he lives with his grandmother despite having his own mother. He has been coming to this day care since he was 9 months old. In the Nordic countries, the expansion of welfare state has decreased individual’s dependence on the family. As women’s social rights have become more extensive, they have acquired a more independent status, which for its part is reflected in the family structure. (Forssen 1998, 131.) This has brought an ease environment for increasing numbers of single mothers. This case comes in the same scenario. Petri was born to a single mother in her early teens. Until today she is unaware of her child’s responsible father as she had numerous physical relationships with strangers after getting drunk. She always lacked proper motherhood and care to the child since its birth. The mother who is 21 now, had series of careless mistakes while growing the child. She often went to the pub with the young boy, got drunk and even left him there for number of occasions. This was followed by events when the kindergarten quite often had to call the mother to come and pick the child in the evening. Additionally she started drinking in home and had also depression problems; this was enough for the social worker to be concerned. Being aware of the situation, the social worker decided to take the child in custody for the safety. However, luckily the grandmother wanted to take care of the child as it was too young. Now, Petri has been living with her since almost 3 years. The grandmother is at her late 50s and is an active working woman. She has to leave early in the morning for work to Helsinki, for this reason he happens to be one of the children who come early to the kindergarten. Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org
  • 11. P a g e | 11 The development of the child is influenced by the development psychology which depends on the environment of raising it. This fundamental factor of child psychology and behavior is indicated as the matter of nature and nurture. On the same hand the parent especially mother have a big role to culture and set them with rules of social life. (Delfos 2003, 23.) Petri has always missed proper care and attention from his mother. At this point of time, when this boy is growing quite fast, now he has a search for belonging to his father and a desire to live with his mother. His moods are very versatile, he can laugh and enjoy for a moment and within fractions of time he will look depressed. The grandmother accounts this pattern of behavior similar to her adult daughter now. It is obvious for this young child to have gained such behavior from his mother. While, he seems to be a disobedient and undisciplined child; this is quite normal as he has missed his basic social lessons at home from his mother or even grandmother now. The grandmother is busy at home with the house chores and doing her official works. When she finally agreed to meet me once during my 1 month stay there, she admitted her immense love for the grandson but she also mentioned her exhaustion in raising the kid because of her old age and hectic work. Now she wants the mother to take care of him as she has grown older but all in vain. It’s hardly once a week when the mother comes to see Petri. In the weekdays the mother is busy with her work. And during the weekends she has her night life going to bars with her friends for which during the day time she has to sleep. In this due course, Petri has even missed weekends to share with his mother. Recently, she has planned a vacation to S. Africa with her friends, she is ready with tickets and travel plan but she is not taking Petri with her. On the other hand, the grandmother is busy with her work this summer and she is not taking any vacation. This fundamental factor of raising environment has strong outputs in his behavior in daily life. Some children go back to the stages that were suppressed when they were younger. They can act violently if their emotional needs are not met. Just remember that most of these Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org
  • 12. P a g e | 12 children are noisy, energetic and bratty. They will give you a headache because you're different from them. (Dealing with difficult children.) Petri makes similar situation. The child is getting aggressive day by day, and it is affecting other children to a greater deal. He usually gets jealous and angry when the other children come with their parents. He has been expressing his desires to have loving parents with the day care workers. He often compares his situations, food and amenities with other children. And to the difference he observes, he usually acts violently and starts crying. Now, the workers in day care understand the vulnerability of this situation. They are aware that their actions can make a difference. Petri has always been one of their bulls eye. The challenge for these workers is not only to monitor him but also to prevent other kids from his violent attacks. They are encouraging Petri to play in different groups each day so that he keeps on socializing and increases his tolerance toward other children. Raising him with care and trying to make him follow rules – be disciplined- are in one hand whilst they are also taking proper consultation on this regard from child psychologist to make better approaches. In weekly basis, the workers also sit together with the grandmother to discuss about the current situations; they are counseling her to raise such difficult children. On the secondary level, the day care is working together with the social worker in city office. The social worker is also meeting Petri’s grandmother at least once a month. While, the social worker is concerned to include the mother in this task as well, they are giving her options and possibilities to get involved in raising the child. She has a big and important role and they are encouraging her to participate in this development. The social worker is aware of the situation and the progress with the child. The social worker is always capable of taking immediate or safety action if needed. In this scenario, all these three actors- day care, parent and social worker are working together to bring positive results. The process looks to be appropriate and well managed. Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org
  • 13. P a g e | 13 After being involved in this practice, it is visible that the parent has the important and main role for the future of the child. Children are like clay, the mother especially is responsible to shape them with culture, rules and behavior for other fellow beings. Home is the first school and mothers are the first teacher for the children. During this course, the mother has missed to perform her basic duties, her tasks and the outcome is the growth of this difficult child. While, the day care and social worker have significant role now but this work is rehabilitative in nature. So, the favorable idea for the state and families will be to prevent teen pregnancy – or birth from teen mothers. But in this particular case, the results will likely be positive and the child is developing better with these efforts from all actors. I personally wish Petri grows better and his fragile foundations of childhood will strengthen with this course of effort. 4 Personal Professional Developments and Learning This stay in Louhela day care has brought me with ideas on Finnish working life and in the same time exposed me to the child welfare here. This has been quite informative and the learning shall be important for a life time. It has been positive but also a blend of shock and exhaustion observing the culture from near glance. My roots have brought me a strong sense of power distance between different age groups which follows degree of respect as well. The first week was harder in this sense, where the kids would act rudely or when they exhibited low degree of respect to the elders. However, this was the moment which taught me lessons of tolerance and patience. The ethical competences in social work were well understood and it has been a practice to understand the distinction between personal and professional relationship. One of the important learning was to share the information of my case with fellow colleagues without disclosing personal Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org
  • 14. P a g e | 14 matters of the client. Workings abide by the act on the openness of government activities is a professional betterment. This duration has increased my understanding of emotions, their limitations and boundaries of personal and professional life. While working with Petri and other children in the day care I always had to be aware not to develop an intimate emotional belongingness and personal expectations in them. Adding in this context, dealing with this particular case I have developed the importance of both rehabilitative and preventive work. The next professional skill is been to acquire psycho- social working skills while dealing with young group of children. I have understood my simple actions can leave different images in cognitive level of these kids. Children imitate habits from elders, I was therefore conscious of how I am presenting myself to them and what I do for them. I have developed my communication skills during this placement. In general, I have gained self development on moral, personal and professional levels. Nonetheless, Finnish language has always been a challenge for this timeline. But, my strengths of non verbal communication have helped me a lot. Non verbal communications and making an ease atmosphere is an important requisite dealing with clients, this has always been my strength. My Nepali roots make me exhibit high degree of respect for elders and affectionate care for the younger, it has made the situations easy and comfortable when I am dealing with the clients; the children and their parents. This reside in Louhela day care, I have lived up to my expectations, my aims to understand the working life as a professional in social work have met. Now, I have known the roles of a socionom in child care, which is an achievement to me personally. I have recognized the way child care and child welfare runs in Finland, this shall be important to share it when I go back to my homeland. I have abided by the legislations and rules of the day care; this should be significant gain in my professional work. Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org
  • 15. P a g e | 15 Louhela kindergarten was an important part of learning. In countries like Nepal- which is trying to build good child welfare- Finland will be a good system to learn while also acknowledging the importance and primary role of family to be the first and foremost need for up growing children. Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org
  • 16. P a g e | 16 5 Lists of Reference  Day care law, 1970.  Dealing with difficult children. http://bloggerparty.com/dealing_with_difficult_children accessed 5th August 2009.  Delfos, Martine F. 2003. Children and Behavioral Problems, Jessica Kingsley Publishers.  Early childhood education and care in Finland. http://pre20031103.stm.fi/english/pao/publicat/earlychildhood/brochure02_3.htm accessed 3rd August 2009.  Forssen, Katja. 1998. Children, families and the welfare state, Gummerus Printing, Jyvaskyla.  Ministry of social affairs and health http://www.stm.fi/en/social_and_health_services/children/services  The library of congress- country studies http://reference.allrefer.com/country-guide-study/finland/finland78.html accessed 3rd August 2009. Sudip Joshi suedip@mail.com www.silcreation.org

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