The Kenya government has established various rehabilitation schools to help in rehabilitating and reintegrating into society, children who commit various offences and end up in the hands of the juvenile justice system. These schools are staffed with various service providers such as Children‟s officers, teachers, nurses, religious leaders and housemothers who ensure successful rehabilitation of these children. Studies have shown that there lacks clarity as to the most appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes that such service providers need to possess to be effective in their job performance. Review of literature indicated that emotional intelligence is important for job performance across a variety of work settings such as business, leadership and education in general. However, there was a general absence of data on the role of emotional intelligence in the job performance of service providers in the behavioral rehabilitation sector. To fill this gap in knowledge, the current study sought to investigate the relationship between emotional intelligence and job performance among service providers in rehabilitation schools in Kenya. A correlational research design was used to test the hypothesis that, emotional intelligence is significantly related to job performance among service providers of rehabilitation schools in Kenya. Stratified proportionate sampling was used to obtain a sample of 81 service providers from a target population of 103 service providers in rehabilitation schools. Due to non response rate, final data was obtained from 63 service providers. Emotional intelligence was assessed using an adapted version of items borrowed from the tests of Emotional Intelligence developed by Wood, & Tolley (2003), while job performance was assessed using supervisor and self-ratings on a 5 item Likert scale. Pearson Product Moment Correlation was used to test the relationship between emotional intelligence and job performance and one way ANOVA to test for differences across demographic variables in emotional intelligence and job performance separately. The findings revealed that there were no significant differences in emotional intelligence as well as in job performance across various demographic variables namely, age, sex, educational qualifications and length of service. In terms of the relationship between the two variables, the study found a significant, moderate and positive relationship between emotional intelligence and job performance among service providers in rehabilitation schools. In addition, it revealed that some dimensions of emotional intelligence such as motivation and social skills were significantly related to job performance, while the empathy dimension was significantly related to teamwork dimension of job performance. Based on the findings, it was suggested that emotional intelligence testing could be factored into recruitment of service providers of rehabilitation schools and that emotional intelligence development programs could be used as an intervention to ensure higher job performance of service providers in rehabilitation schools. In addition, the motivation, social skills and empathy dimensions of emotional intelligence need special attention when it comes to promoting job performance of service providers for rehabilitation schools.
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
In every society children are valued, they are tomorrow‟s society, and through them we are assured that society will continue to thrive. As such, every effort is made to nurture children and to ensure that they are well cared for and protected from any possible physical or psychological harm. The goal of this is to ensure that they grow into responsible citizens of tomorrow. For many societies, the actualization of this goal is becoming a mirage as societies become increasingly complex and social structures that traditionally existed to ensure children‟s care and protection disintegrate. This has resulted in new challenges such as child neglect, abandonment and even abuse.
The global concern for the promotion of the welfare of children is reflected in initiatives such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which clearly outlines policies that should govern the treatment of children by all governments that ratify it. Similar commitment at a local level is evidenced by the Kenya government‟s ratification of this convention in July 1990. It is further reflected in the initiative to contextualize this convention through the enacting of the Children‟s Act in 2001. This Law took effect on 1st March 2002, and ushered in various changes to improve the conditions of children living in especially difficult circumstances. One category of such children is that of those who commit offences that lead them into conflict with the law. These offences include stealing, bestiality, trespassing, rape, possession of drugs, among others. Once children commit such offences, they often put law enforcers in a difficult situation as they are still children and have not attained adult status to be charged under the Law. In recognition of the unique challenges posed by the plight of such children, the
Kenya Government has established various institutions to support their rehabilitation with a view to turning them into responsible citizens of this nation. One category of such institutions is the rehabilitation schools, formerly known as approved schools and charged with the responsibility of rehabilitating and reintegrating children into society as fully functioning individuals. These schools fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Children‟s Services, under the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Development Services. This Department oversees the running of these schools and ensures that the necessary resources, human and other, are made available to support the rehabilitation of these children.