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Portrait of Paraprofessionals Working with Families in Difficult Situations: Their Motivations and Commitment Profile

Louise Bourassa, Jean-Marie Miron, Carl Lacharité

This study, which has an ethnographically-based standpoint, deals with the factors of motivation and the supervisory needs of auxiliary health workers overseeing families suffering from negligent behaviour practices. Meetings took place with sixteen auxiliaries and four lead persons in semi-structured interviews and participant observations. The results include three major motivation factors (enhancement of the auxiliaries’ self esteem, the support with which they are provided and their relationship with the family assisted) to which are added four profiles of commitment based on the nature of the relationship and of the auxiliary’s expectations with respect to the assisted family. Certain avenues are explored in relation to motivations and supervisory needs, more especially regarding the importance to be given to those with whom the auxiliaries associate professionally, and the advantages and drawbacks of each profile.