The 23rd Juvenile Problems Course–one of the specialized courses organized by Hinokishin School of the Mission Department of Church Headquarters–was held at the Home of the Parent between June 26 and 28, drawing 22 participants who had previously graduated from the basic course.
Seeking to provide followers with an opportunity to acquire knowledge and techniques useful for salvation work and hinokishin activities in their local communities, Hinokishin School draws up a curriculum for each course in a way that meets contemporary social needs.
The seven lectures delivered this year focused on such topics as the role and needs of the family and the parent-child relationship, for, as highlighted by the growing number of child abuse cases, domestic troubles have in recent years been the most serious social issues related to the increasingly diverse and complicated juvenile problems. The number of child-abuse cases handled at child welfare consultation centers across the nation has increased sharply. According to the Japanese Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, the number of such cases rose to approximately 24,000 in the fiscal year 2002, four times as many as five years ago.
Family Care Promotion Society Director Mieko Iwasaki gave a lecture titled “The Parent-Child Relationship in Early Childhood.” She discussed the current situation and problems found in foster family searching as well as the attitude one should have to become a foster parent. She said: “By the time they get adopted, most children have already experienced various kinds of trauma resulting from their parents’ divorce or from having being abused. Therefore, we should be careful not to be hasty in trying to bring them up or to teach them to be self-reliant. Rather, the first thing to do is to help them release their anxieties and become accustomed to new surroundings. In any case, it is essential to love those children unconditionally.”
On the last day, three panelists discussed various questions posed by the participants, such as “How should we followers of the path approach families in which children are being abused?” and “What are points to keep in mind when adopting adolescent children?”