Since children and youth are often cared for by many professionals who are trained
and educated in different disciplinary traditions, it is important that child and
youth care (CYC) practitioners who work alongside other professionals have knowledge
of how love is understood across different disciplines. Through a review of current
literature in the fields of health care, education and CYC, this article explores
the perceptions of love across different fields where CYC is practised. It begins
by defining love in a manner that reflects the engagement and interactions between
individuals in professional and public relationships, and differentiates this from
the kind of love present in private relationships. It then focuses on the ways that
love is currently being talked about and practised in different professional contexts.
While there is increasing openness to talk about love across the human service fields,
and some similarities in the questions and assertions that are being raised, there
are also differences of opinion regarding love’s place in professional practice both
within and across practice domains. In contemplating the varying perceptions of love,
I hope to offer the reader an opportunity to be more mindful about the role of love
in their own professional practice.