Ethnographic study of a child and youth counsellor as an agent of change for at-risk students



Petersen, Anne-Mette R.

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University of Guelph


This study describes the role of one child and youth counsellor (CYC) in two schools using participant-as-observer ethnographic methodology. The schools had a high population of students who were at-risk for academic difficulties that often lead to early school leaving. Also described in this study are perspectives of identification of at-risk students. Informants' perspectives on the role of the CYC were considered, as were the perceptions of the role that emerged from observations and interviews. The role of CYC's in the schools was to support the teachers in delivering the best possible education to the students. This was carried out in two ways: by the CYC engaging in various preventive activities with the students; and by the CYC carrying out various supportive roles within the school community. There was potential for CYCs' to meet the needs of at-risk students, and it was felt that the more preventive activities of the CYC were most beneficial.



at-risk students, child and youth counsellor, schools, preventative activities, supportive roles