Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work

Fall 10-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Len Jennings


Many youth experience problems in their lives that require them to be cared for outside of their own home. Despite some variance in position title, the people charged with a youth’s basic care and safety within these programs are considered direct-care providers. These positions are often entry-level in nature and typically require only minimal training prior to beginning this important work. One of the more challenging aspects of this position requires these entry-level professionals to maintain safety within the program by responding to crises often including youth violence and self-harm/suicidality. Research has yet to explicitly capture the experience of these staff members in moments of crisis. Using the qualitative research method of autoethnography, this study explored the experiences of this researcher, presented in 10 short stories of crisis involving youth in out-of-home care programs. Resulting themes to describe that experience include feelings of powerlessness, self-doubt and resulting symptoms of trauma. These themes are discussed and implications for practice and future research are provided.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.