Last week I attended a training on the Court’s new “Core Values.” I CARE. Integrity, Compassion, Accountablity, Respect, Empowerment. We’re clever here, aren’t we?
We went over the values, ideals, qualities and principles that have intrinsic worth as well as what we, as individuals, value. See the problem here?>
This, my friend, was a bit more confusing than our trainers intended. Overall the training was fantastic. Using words and pictures cut out of magazines, we ranked our most important values. I cheated by using pictures that could represent multiple values. I thought I was extremely clever–then I realized how ugly my Values Art was. Sadly, it won’t scan properly, so I can’t prove just how little I get Aesthetics.
The training did help me realize what the mission of the court is, and how little we follow through with it on a consistent basis. Compassion we have, and the management is big on accountability for line staff, but empowerment? I suggested this word to the planning committee because I feel our end goal is to empower parents to work with their children, to empower our clients to move past their criminal behaviors and to empower line staff to continue to develop.
The court tries to hold people accountable, but, in the end, it is just punitive. Accountability implies that one will be able to make amends for screwing up. We have made our system so overly complex that accountability isn’t necessarily the outcome. What we do is punish. Punishment does not always work, nor is it the most effective ways of educating kid.
We can’t punish management for not following through with the mission, or the values, of the court. We can hold them, and everyone else interested in working with children, accountable for favoring punishment over more effective methods.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a trivia competition to win.