From Custodialism to Community: A Theory Based Manual for Transforming Institutions

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University Press of America, Jan 1, 2003 - Social Science - 127 pages
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From Custodialism to Community offers a critique of current residential care and a rationale and strategies for its transformation. The authors discuss challenges presented to residential settings by developmental characteristics of adolescence, specifically the power of the peer group as it encourages challenging authority. The response to these challenges by a custodial model that dominates today's residential institutions are described and illustrated. The shortcomings of the model are analyzed, specifically the interlocking of a them-us struggle between staff and residents, and the violent and manipulative control of peer youth leaders over their peer followers. An alternative model of building each institution as a community in which residents, caregivers, professionals and administrators are all fellow community members is discussed. Strategies and techniques to achieve the desirable transformation are presented. Implications for additional types of total institutions are also suggested. The book is organized around thirty-seven full-page diagrams, each conveying a central theme, which is then elaborated in the text, making the book reader friendly and appealing to a wide and diverse readership.

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About the author (2003)

Howard W. Polsky is Professor, Columbia University School of Social Work, New York.
Roni Berger is Associate Professor, Adelphi University School of Social Work, New York.

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