Child and Youth Care Forum

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 263-284

First online:

Advancing child and youth care: A model for integrating theory and practice through connecting education, training, and the service system

  • Karen VanderVenAffiliated withProgram in Child Development and Child Care, School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh

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This article presents a comprehensive model for enabling connections to be made between theory and practice in the field of child and youth care, based on an analysis of current training and education in the field and a multi-step concept of theory-to-practice and practice-to-theory. The model presents a logical sequence of activities that generate and convey knowledge from two sources. One is formal empirical and research information; the other is the conceptualization of practitioners' direct experience. Both are reinforced by trainers and educators with dual connections with “practice” and “training and education” settings. The paper stresses that academic programs are a significant component of any profession, in that they are responsible for collecting and codifying emergent knowledge gathered from multiple sources.