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AUTHOR'S BACKGROUND EXPERIENCE.
I have been married for fifty three years and have three children, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. My professional qualifications are in electronics, sociology, conflict resolution and family mediation.
I worked with troubled teenagers and their families for about 30 years in various roles. One role was as a casual helper at a youth drop-in and sports centre, Another was a ten-year stint as a honorary probation officer attached to the children's court. During that time I took over as manager of the youth centre and also became the manager of a residential facility for troubled teenagers. For various reasons, the residents of that facility were deemed to be homeless and many also had the label 'uncontrollable' pinned on them, sometimes by their parents and sometimes by the legal system.
After a three-year period of the facility being solely for males, the first female residents were accepted. In addition to family relationship problems, many of the residents, both male and female, had issues with the school system and the police. Although those systems and the general public expected us to 'control' the residents, our approach was to have the residents make the rules that applied to themselves and the staff of the facility. Obviously that had to happen within the law, especially in regard to 'no violence,' and the, sometimes hesitant, support of parents.
It worked very well for sixteen years until the government funding focus changed and the facility closed. It had worked well even when we introduced the policy that a resident could not be kicked out once they were accepted as a resident. If there was a serious problem, we just had to work through it, much like what happens in many a family setting.
Published works are:
Parenting Teenagers in the 1990s, (1992). Melbourne: Australian Council of Educational Research.
Raising Responsible Teenagers, (1996). Melbourne: Australian Council of Educational Research.
Travelling the Road of Peace and Happiness, (2011). Australia: Xlibris Corporation.
Enjoy Parenting Teenagers, (2013). Australia: Harmony in Dispute.